Independent attorneys told HLN's Jane Velez-Mitchell the jailhouse recordings should be relevant in the case -- both as the judge weighs how high to set Zimmerman's bail and, once the trial begins, potentially affecting jurors' assessment as to whether his account of what happened February 26 can be trusted. While investigators talked to several neighbors and others, no one saw the shooting directly except for Zimmerman and the now-deceased Martin.
"His credibility is everything. Why would he risk it on something that is so trivial as this?" Georgia-based lawyer Pilar Prinz said of the Zimmermans' jailhouse discussions about their money. " I can't understand it."
O'Mara acknowledged the Zimmermans inflicted a "great blow to their credibility," making it clear the two had available funds and were not honest about it -- something that might prompt Judge Lester to order the defendant to stay in jail until the trial because he feels "he can no longer trust him."
But the lawyer said, in the 30 hours of calls between the couple, there's no indication the Zimmermans intended to deceive the judge, and also pointed out that his client came clean to him four days later. O'Mara also said the couple was stressed, fearful and distrustful at the time.
"I only hope that ... critics give it a more global perspective -- which is what (Zimmerman) was going through and what his family was going through as to why they may not have been completely honest about the money ... and sort of what they were facing," he said.
Lastly, O'Mara stressed that the questions about their finances are distinct from what happened the night of the shooting.
"It truly has so little to do with what counts in the case, which is what happened when Trayvon Martin passed away," he said.
Besides the conversations about finances, the newly released phone calls shed light on the relationship between George and Shellie Zimmerman. In one exchange, they talk optimistically about their future together.
"After this, ... you're going to be able to just have a great life," Shellie Zimmerman said.
"We will," replies her husband.
The two also talk about the support Zimmerman has received from the public, in the wake of the controversy that followed the Martin shooting.
"You're special and (an) amazing role model to people, honey," his wife said.
"Hmm, I wish, I wish I were," Zimmerman said.