Lester revoked Zimmermans bond and, after a hearing, allowed him back out on a $1 million bond.
His $1 million bond order included what the Florida Attorney Generals Office called a tongue-lashing. A passport plus a secret stash of money led Lester to say Zimmerman had been prepared to run.
In an eight-page decision where he accused Zimmerman of flouting the system, the judge warned that Zimmerman could be tried for other crimes and said he could be held in contempt of court.
The trial court departed from its role as an impartial neutral arbiter of justice OMara wrote. Comments like these are taken seriously by the defendant and further convince him that he cannot get a fair trial from the trial court.
By law, OMara had to show sufficient legal grounds to show Zimmerman feared the judges bias.
In a response on behalf of the prosecution, Assistant Attorney General Pamela J. Koller said the judges comments did not meet the legal threshold.
This does not require disqualification of the trial judge, Koller wrote. None of the comments by the trial court rise to the level of being legally sufficient to establish an objectively reasonable fear by Petitioner that he will not receive a fair trial by the judge. Instead, the judge was simply giving Petitioner a well deserved tongue lashing for allowing others to mislead the court about his passport and his financial situation.
Proof that Lester wasnt biased, Koller argued: He let Zimmerman out of jail, and hes out free now.
OMara declined to comment on the appellate decision Wednesday, saying only that he expects a new judge to be named soon.