George Zimmerman has been granted a bond and will be set free to await his trail for the second-degree murder of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. Florida Judge Kenneth Lester Jr. made the decision at a hearing on Friday, April 20.
Zimmerman must first post a $150,000 bond and other details must be ironed out, such as where he will be living, before he will be freed. Those details will be set in discussions between his attorney, Mark O'Mara, and law enforcement officials and Zimmerman is expected to spend at least one more night in jail. Once freed to await his trial, the 28-year-old will be subject to GPS monitoring, will have a curfew and will not be able to possess a firearm nor consume alcohol or use drugs.
George Zimmerman and family: Safety issues
O'Mara said they will seek leave to have his client, who's been in jail since April 11th, stay outside the area of the court's jurisdiction due to concerns for his safety. “Normally, the conditions are that you stay local. I think that is going to be difficult,” O'Mara told the media outside the court. “I think nobody would deny the fact that if George Zimmerman were walking down the street today, he would be at risk. That is a reality.”
Further highlighting the risk was the fact Zimmerman family members who testified at the hearing did so by phone due to, they said, threats they have received. His wife, Shellie Zimmerman, told the hearing via phone her husband was "absolutely not a violent person" and his father, Robert Zimmerman testified to the injuries his son sustained the night Martin was shot dead. Both the wife, the father and Zimmerman's mother, Gladys Zimmerman, testified to the character of Zimmerman and insisted he would not be a flight risk.
Zimmerman apologizes to Trayvon Martin family
The hearing was attended by the father and mother of Trayvon Martin, Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, and George Zimmerman spoke directly to them and apologized for the death of their teenager. “I wanted to say I am sorry for the loss of your son. I did not know how old he was. I thought he was a little bit younger than I am. And I did not know if he was armed or not.”
In related news, a graphic photo has surfaced showing cuts on the back of Zimmerman's head. It was published by ABC News and is said to have been taken minutes after Zimmerman fired the shot that killed Martin; the photo was taken by someone living in the complex where the shooting took place but who did not see the fight, coming upon the scene after Martin had been shot.