George Zimmerman has been released from jail on $150,000 dollars bond. It was a quiet scene at the Seminole County Jail at around 12:00 a.m. on Sunday. There were no protesters and the media didn't hurl questions at him as he exited the jail. He will have to return to stand trial for the murder of 17-year-old, African-American teenager, Trayvon Martin. The case captured national headlines and sparked a national outcry. On February 26, 2012, Zimmerman was said to have targeted Martin because he was an African-American wearing a hoodie. Zimmerman made a call to 911 and reported seeing a suspicious person. During the call, the operator told him not to follow. At some point, he did follow Trayvon and a confrontation occurred. Eventually, Trayvon was shot dead and Zimmeran claimed self-defense under Florida's "Stand Your Ground" Law. He was not and arrested or charged at that time which sparked the protests and debates on race and racial profiling.
While out on bond, the judge overseeing the case says Zimmerman cannot carry guns, must obey a curfew, must surrender his passport, and has to wear a monitoring device. He had to pay $15,000 towards bond. The location where he is being taken is secret for his safety. Zimmerman's father says he will probably take out a second-mortgage to help pay for his son's defense.
A Florida judge has granted bail for George Zimmerman, the Florida neighborhood watch captain accused of second-degree murder in the shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.
Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester set Zimmerman's bond at $150,000, but said he would not be released today, pending deliberations about the terms of the release.
The bail hearing featured dramatic testimony from Zimmerman, who took the stand and offered an apology to Martin's parents.
"I wanted to say that I am sorry for the loss of your son," Zimmerman said, adding that he did not know how old Martin was or that he was unarmed.
"I thought he was a little bit younger than I am," he said. "I did not know whether he was armed or not."
Assistant prosecutor Bernie De La Rionda requested that the judge set no bail or require a bond of $1 million, arguing that Zimmerman's past history of violence and the evidence against him in the shooting of Martin made him a threat to the public.
"Our position is that he will still be a danger to the community," De La Rionda said.
O'Mara asked for bail of just $15,000 and requested that Zimmerman be allowed to leave the state while on bond.
Judge Lester ordered O'Mara to confer with state prosecutors and the Seminole County Sheriff's Department on the terms of Zimmerman's confinement, and to request an additional ruling if an agreement could not be met.
Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester says Zimmerman cannot have any firearms, drink alcohol or use drugs and must observe a curfew. Zimmerman will also have to wear an electronic monitoring device. The judge says Zimmerman will not be released Friday.
In another turn of events, ABC News exclusively obtained a photo of George Zimmerman with a bloody head, which was reported to have been taken 3 minutes after he shot and killed Martin. Some speculate that this could give credability to Zimmerman argument that Trayvon "bashed" his head into the concrete. ABC News reports:
The exclusive image shows blood trickling down the back of Zimmerman's head from two cuts. It also shows a possible contusion forming on the crown of his head. The original police report that night notes that the back of Zimmerman's head was wet, and that he was bleeding from the nose and head.
Zimmerman told police that night that he shot and killed the teenager in self-defense after Martin punched him and pounced on him. Zimmerman told police that Martin then bashed his head into the concrete sidewalk during the altercation that took place in the tidy middle-class development of the Retreat at Twin Lakes in Sanford, Fla.
Zimmerman was treated at the scene by paramedics, then cuffed and driven in a police cruiser to the Sanford police station. He was questioned for hours and later released. In police surveillance video obtained last month by ABC News, Zimmerman's wounds are not apparent, and there were no bandages on his head.
Zimmerman was not admitted to a hospital or given stitches the night of the incident.
The person who took the photograph of a bloodied Zimmerman, asking not to be identified, told ABC News exclusively that they did not see the scuffle that night, but did hear it. The person recalled seeing Martin's prostrate body on the wet grass and said the gunpowder burns on Martin's gray hoodie were clearly visible.
The photographer said that after the shooting, Zimmerman asked the photographer to call his wife. When the photographer asked him what to say, Zimmerman blurted out, "Man, just tell her I shot someone."
Investigators have seen the photo.
Martin family attorney Benjamin Crump is skeptical.
"How bad could it have been if they didn't take him to the hospital [and] didn't stitch him up," he said in a statement to ABC News in response to the image. "The special prosecutor has seen all the evidence and still believes George Zimmerman murdered Trayvon Martin."
Zimmerman's attorney, Mark O'Mara, said his client has spent enough time behind bars.
"He needs to get out. He should not be in jail," O'Mara said. "I want him out because I need him out. He wants to get out. His family wants it out. It should happen."
Michelle Obama has commented on the Trayvon Martin case. She says that her "heart goes out to the parents"of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, the unarmed teenager who was fatally shot by a self-professed neighborhood volunteer in Florida on February 26. She also added that all parents understand "the tragedy of that kind of loss." Martin was shot by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman, who has claimed self-defense.
Potus adds it's important "not to lose sight of the fact that this is a family that's grieving and there's been a tremendous loss.', 'we all have to rally around that piece of it."
As the Trayvon Martin case continues to develop, a new twist has emerged in the case. The judge who would be overseeing the case in Florida has revealed there may be a conflict of interest in the case. Judge Jessica Recksiedler held a status hearing in the case yesterday and revealed that her husband is a partner at the law firm, Mark NeJame, that has been hired by CNN to give analysis on the case. She made the revelation that Zimmerman's attorney or the State Prosecutor may want her to step down from the case.
Next week, a request may be made to have the judge removed, which Mark O,Mara, Zimmerman's attorney, said he may do. If such a request is made it is almost certain Judge Recksiedler will step down from the case. NeJame has said that Zimmerman had contacted his law firm on March 15, 2012, stating that he needed a defense attorney, but he declined because he has two small children. After a period of two weeks passed, his law firm signed a contract with CNN. Around this time, Zimmerman made contact through a friend for a referral of a defense attorney and his current attorney was recommended.
A bond hearing for the defendant is already scheduled for April 20, 2012, but if the judge has to step aside, then it will have to be rescheduled. With all this taking place, a previous revelation, Tracy Martin made to USA Today has come to light, he says he warned his son years ago that he may be targeted because of his race, He said:
“I’ve always let him know we as African Americans get stereotyped,” he told USA Today three weeks after he son was killed. “I told him that society is cruel."
Many celebrities have reached out and spoken up to remember and honor Trayvon Martin through music. Rapper Plies & Wyclef have made videos and music honoring him. The motto "I am" and "I am Trayvon" have become synonomous in a movement that has galvanized many to take action, march and rally, to get justice for Trayvon Martin. The man accused of killing Trayvon, George Zimmerman was charged with 2nd degree murder yesterday. He will plead not guilty and possibly be out on bond as early as next week if his family can afford it.
George Zimmerman turned himself into authorities today and was charged with 2nd degree murder of Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin to death on February 26, 2012 and claimed self-defense under Florida's controversial "Stand Your Ground" Law. It has taken 45-days to get to this point.
Zimmerman wasn't arrested and charged at the time of the shooting which began national protests and outrage calling for an arrest. Many, especially in the African-American community cited race and racial profiling as a major factor in Zimmerman's pursuit of Trayvon that fateful night.
Zimmerman was processed and booked in Seminole County and will face a judge tomorrow for bail.
The special prosecutor in the Travyon Martin case announced earlier today that she will be releasing information about the case in the next 72 hours regarding the case that has sparked a national debate on race and racial profiling.
The statement said she "is preparing to release new information regarding the Trayvon Martin shooting death investigation," at a news conference that will be held either in Jacksonville or Sanford.
The statement came shortly after Zimmerman's former attorneys held a press conference saying they would no longer be representing Zimmerman. As the story continues to develop, many in Sanford say they are afraid violence will happen should the prosecutor not charge Zimmerman.
Craig Sooner & Hal Uhrig, George Zimmerman's attorney's held a press conference to announce that they will no longer be representing him due to his ignoring their legal advice. They also say they have lost contact with him. The lawyers also say Zimmerman spoke with Sean Hannity from Fox News but say Zimmerman would not reveal what he said to Hannity.
"George called Sean Hannity of Fox News off the record and he was unwilling to tell us what was said," attorney Hal Uhrig said.
Sonner said that Zimmerman had stopped responding to their phone calls, and that they did not know exactly where he was, although they thought that he was no longer in Florida.
Sonner also said that Zimmerman reached out to the special prosecutor in the case, against their wishes. "We were a bit astonished and had some conversation back and forth with the prosecutor's office," Uhrig said."They told us what we expected, '[that] we’re not going to talk to a criminal or [defendant] without counsel.'"
Zimmerman admitted to shooting Trayvon Martin, an unarmed 17-year-old, on February 26 in the gated community where the teenager's father lived in Sanford, Fla. Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch member, called 911 and told a police dispatcher that Martin, who was walking back to his father's home from a convenience store, "looked suspicious." After an altercation, Zimmerman shot Martin in the chest. He told the local police that he shot Martin in self defense, and was not arrested or charged. Protestors around the country have held rallies calling for Zimmerman's arrest, and the Sanford police department has come in for withering criticism for its handling of the initial investigation.
In the town of Sanford, a Sanford Police Car was shot at 4:30 this morning. CBS News Reports:
(CBS News) SANFORD, Fla. – Shots were fired at a Sanford police car parked near the scene of the Trayvon Martin shooting. According to authorities, the cruiser was found Tuesday morning with bullet holes in it and at least window blown out.
Police said no one was inside the cruiser, which was parked across the street from the Retreat at Twin Lakes apartment complex, near the front of Bentley Elementary School.
CBS affiliate WKMG reports witnesses said they heard six shots. At least two bullets struck the patrol car.
Sanford police said the cruiser had been parked in front of Bentley Elementary for the past couple of weeks at the request of school officials who had concerns about safety issues.
Police removed the car from the scene, and an investigation is ongoing.