George Zimmerman Apologizes to Trayvon Martin’s Family; Bail Set at $150,000
A judge granted bail for George Zimmerman at a hearing in Florida today, during which the defendant apologized to the family of Trayvon Martin.
Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester set bail at $150,000, but would not allow his release immediately, citing further discussions needed about the terms.
Lester said that Zimmerman must not contact the victim’s family; must wear an ankle monitoring bracelet; and adhere to a 7 p.m.-6 a.m. curfew.
The hearing took place just a few hours after the release of a bloody photo of George Zimmerman’s head taken the night of the now-infamous altercation.
Some say the photo could bolster his claim that Martin was the aggressor that night, and that he shot the teenager as an act of self-defense.
In any case, the presumption of innocence was enough to earn Zimmerman bail.
The judge’s order also states that Zimmerman cannot be in possession of any firearms and must not consume alcohol or controlled substances.
Taking the stand briefly at the Seminole County Criminal Justice Center, Zimmerman addressed the parents of Martin, who were seated in court.
“I wanted to say that I am sorry for the loss of your son,” he said.
“I did not know how old he was,” he continued. “I thought he was a little bit younger than I am. And I did not know whether he was armed or not.”
“I was told not to communicate with [Martin's parents],” said the 28-year-old, who was charged with second-degree murder in the February 26 shooting.
“I did ask [my attorneys] to express that to them.”
Zimmerman has been behind bars since his arrest nine days ago. His attorney, Mark O’Mara, asked the judge to let him out of jail while he awaits trial.
O’Mara also asked the judge to allow Zimmerman to leave the state while wearing a GPS bracelet, and to keep his location confidential to secure his safety.
The judge said he will consider those requests before granting the release of Zimmerman, who will almost certainly plead not guilty in the case.
Martin’s parents were in the courtroom, coming face-to-face with their 17-year-old’s killer for the first time. They wept at news of the bond.
After the hearing, Martin family attorney Ben Crump said Martin’s parents were “very outraged” at the results of the hearing. He said:
“It was devastating that [Zimmerman] got to give a self-serving apology to help get him a bond. Why is everybody protecting George Zimmerman?”