After George Zimmerman took the stand during his bond hearing and told Trayvon Martin's parents that he was sorry for the loss of their son, a Florida judge Friday set Zimmerman's bond at $150,000.
The judge set a number of conditions, including GPS monitoring. The judge said Zimmerman wouldn't have the opportunity to be released Friday, because his attorney and state authorities needed to hammer out the monitoring and other logistics.
Friday's bond hearing also included testimony from one of the state's main investigators in the case, with Zimmerman attorney Mark O'Mara challenging the state's assertions. Under questioning, the investigator said the state didn't have evidence to contradict Zimmerman's account that Martin started the fight that led to the shooting, but he did say evidence did call into question other parts of Zimmerman's account.
Zimmerman, 28, was charged on April 11 with second-degree murder in the February death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, after the case sparked a heated, national debate over racial profiling and saw thousands of protesters demand Zimmerman's arrest. Martin's family contends Zimmerman racially profiled their son, who was black, and was walking back from a convenience store in Sanford, Florida.
Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer who is Hispanic, maintains he acted in self-defense. His family says he did not profile Martin. (Timeline of case)
The following is a running account of the bond hearing:
[Updated at 12:14 p.m. ET] The state's attorney in today's bond hearing, reacting to reporters' questions about O'Mara's assault on the prosecution's case, said that not all evidence has been publicly revealed.
"We did not put our entire case on today. Let's leave it at that," he told reporters outside the courthouse.
[Updated at 11:55 a.m. ET] Mark NeJame, an Orlando lawyer and CNN legal analyst, said O'Mara's move to put Zimmerman on the stand during the bond hearing "was a calculated risk to humanize George Zimmerman."
"We've heard a lot of negative things for weeks now, and we've now heard a living breathing person" make an apology, NeJame said.
[Updated at 11:15 a.m. ET] The hearing is over. Zimmerman stood up and shook hands with his attorney, Mark O'Mara, before sitting down again to wait to be taken from the courtroom.
[Updated at 11:10 a.m. ET] The judge has set a bond of $150,000, with conditions.
The conditions include:
- GPS monitoring
- Zimmerman would have to contact authorities every three days
- No contact with the victim's family
- No possession of firearms
- No use of controlled substances, other than those prescribed by a physician.
As for O'Mara's request that Zimmerman be allowed to reside away from Florida, the judge said O'Mara and the state should get together and determine whether that can be accomplished.
Because O'Mara and the state need to meet about the arrangements for monitoring, Zimmerman will not have an opportunity to be freed today. the judge said.
[Updated at 11:07 a.m. ET] The state's attorney is now making a case against leniency when it comes to the bond decision, and has asked for no bond, or a bond of $1 million.
The state's attorney argued that Zimmerman is a danger to the public, citing not only the second-degree murder charge, but a previous charge of battery against a law enforcement officer, which was discussed at length earlier in the hearing.
[Updated at 11:02 a.m. ET] The hearing is now turning back to the issue of bond. O'Mara is asking the judge for:
- $15,000 bond.
- The ability of Zimmerman to leave the state
- Secrecy over Zimmerman's whereabouts
O'Mara, speaking to Zimmerman's ability to pay bond, noted that Zimmerman cannot work in public because of the case's publicity, and that his wife is not working because she is in school.
[Updated at 10:58 a.m. ET] The prosecuting attorney is now questioning Zimmerman. He asked whether Zimmerman had ever said he was sorry when he spoke to police. Zimmerman responded that he had told one of the investigators that "I felt sorry for the family."
The prosecutor told Zimmerman that if that's true, it must have been recorded. He asked Zimmerman if he was sure, and Zimmerman said he was "fairly certain."
[Updated at 10:55 a.m. ET] "I wanted to say I am sorry for the loss of your son," Zimmerman said on the stand, apparently addressing Martin's parents, who are in the room. (Watch video of apology)
Zimmerman also said he thought Martin was older, and that he "didn't know if (Martin) was armed or not."
[Updated at 10:54 a.m. ET] Zimmerman is about the address the court. His attorney has called him to the stand.
[Updated at 10:53 a.m. ET] The prosecuting attorney, after saying "I didn't know we were going to be trying the case today," is back to ask questions of state attorney's investigator Dale Gilbreath, after O'Mara asked questions challenging the state's assertions.
The prosecutor asked Gilbreath whether there was any evidence indicating that Zimmerman's account that Martin bashed his head against a sidewalk wasn't true. Gilbreath said yes.
[Updated at 10:47 a.m. ET] O'Mara is back to questioning state attorney's investigator Dale Gilbreath, one of the investigators in the case.
O'Mara asked whether Gilbreath knows who started the fight between Zimmerman and Martin, or had any evidence as to who started the fight. Gilbreath said no.
O'Mara asked whether Gilbreath had any evidence contradicting Zimmerman's statement to Sanford police on the night of the incident that Zimmerman: 1) turned toward his car after losing sight of Martin; and 2) that Martin started the fight that led to the shooting. Gilbreath said no.
[Updated at 10:36 a.m. ET] A prosecuting attorney is now questioning state attorney's investigator Dale Gilbreath, after Zimmerman's attorney took issue with wording in a probable cause affidavit that Gilbreath had signed. Gilbreath is one of the investigators in the Martin shooting case.
Like O'Mara, the prosecuting attorney is asking Gilbreath about the affidavit, and about evidence that Gilbreath collected. The general thrust of the questioning is designed to bolster the affidavit's credibility, after O'Mara questioned word choices in the affidavit.
Gilbreath testified he has reviewed other evidence documents other than what has been discussed in the hearing. The prosecutor asked Gilbreath whether Martin had a right to be in the neighborhood – Gilbreath said yes. Gilbreath also was asked if there was no evidence that Martin was committing any crime, and again Gilbreath said yes.
[Updated at 10:28 a.m. ET] O'Mara still is questioning state attorney's investigator Dale Gilbreath about the way that the probable cause affidavit – which supported the second-degree murder charge - was written.
O'Mara is now taking issue with a line that says Zimmerman "disregarded" a police dispatcher. On the tape that has been released to the public, Zimmerman indicated that he was following Martin, and the dispatcher said that authorities didn't need Zimmerman to do that.
O'Mara, through his questioning of Gilbreath, is basically suggesting that "disregarded" was the wrong word, because Zimmerman did not hang up with the dispatcher, and therefore did not disregard him.
O'Mara also is taking issue with the affidavit saying that Zimmerman "confronted" Martin. O'Mara is contending that Gilbreath has offered no evidence that Zimmerman confronted Martin, and that other, less antagonistic words, should have been used since Gilbreath had no evidence that Zimmerman confronted him. Such words, O'Mara said, would be "came up to," or "spoke with."
[Updated at 10:19 a.m. ET] O'Mara, while questioning state attorney's investigator Dale Gilbreath, is now taking issue with other language choices in the probable cause affidavit.
O'Mara has noted that the only two quotes in the affidavit from Zimmerman – taken from a police call that Zimmerman made to notify police that he had seen a suspicious person – are of Zimmerman using expletives. O'Mara asked why – out of everything Zimmerman said – only those two quotes were included in the affidavit.
Gilbreath responded that he didn't type the affidavit. O'Mara pointed out that Gilbreath swore to it, and Gilbreath agreed that he had.
[Updated at 10:14 a.m. ET] O'Mara, while questioning state attorney's investigator Dale Gilbreath, has taken issue with the word "profiled" in the probable cause affidavit supporting the second-degree murder charge.
The affidavit, which Gilbreath had signed, says that Zimmerman profiled Martin. O'Mara asked why the affidavit says profiled, rather than "noticed" or "saw." Gilbreath said he couldn't remember who wrote the word, saying it was a collaborative document.
[Updated at 10:09 a.m. ET] O'Mara has called Dale Gilbreath, an investigator with the state attorney's office, to the stand. Gilbreath is one of the investigators in the Martin shooting case.
Gilbreath has indicated that he didn't expect to testify today.
[Updated at 10:05 a.m. ET] O'Mara asked Zimmerman's mother whether she has come to know her son as someone who comes to the defense of people. She said yes.
She said he has stood up for children and homeless people in and around his community. She also testified that he had been a mentor for two African American children.
[Updated at 10:04 a.m. ET] O'Mara asked Zimmerman's mother about Zimmerman's previous charge of battery against a law enforcement officer. She said that Zimmerman was involved in an altercation with a plainclothes ATF agent because he was coming to the defense of a friend, who was being roughed up. The officer didn't identify himself as a law enforcement officer, she said.
[Updated at 10:02 a.m. ET] Zimmerman's mother, like his father and wife earlier this morning, said that if Zimmerman is released on bond, his location and the places where he would be allowed to go should be kept secret, because he and the family have received threats.
[Updated at 9:53 a.m. ET] O'Mara has now called Zimmerman's mother to the phone.
[Updated at 9:51 a.m. ET] Now being questioned by O'Mara, Zimmerman's father testified about Zimmerman's appearance after the February 26 shooting. The father said Zimmerman's face was swollen "quite a bit," had a protective cover over his nose, and had two vertical gashes on the back of his head.
According to an Orlando Sentinel story later confirmed by Sanford police, Zimmerman told authorities that after he called 911 about a suspicious person (later identified as Martin), and after he briefly lost track of Martin, the teen approached him. After the two exchange words, Zimmerman said, he reached for his cell phone, and then Martin punched him in the nose. Zimmerman said Martin pinned him to the ground and began slamming his head into the sidewalk.
[Updated at 9:47 a.m. ET] The prosecution is asking Zimmerman's father about Zimmerman's previous charge of battery against a law enforcement officer, basically having the father acknowledge that he knows Zimmerman faced that charge. Like the exchange that the prosecution had with Zimmerman's wife a few minutes ago, they went over the fact that Zimmerman took anger management classes as a result of that charge, which was reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor.
[Updated at 9:41 a.m. ET] O'Mara is asking Zimmerman's father about his financial ability to help post bond. The father, who said he was retired, said he and his wife have some savings, but very little. He said he had a mortgaged home, and that he was willing to secure the home as part of a bond arrangement.
[Updated at 9:39 a.m. ET] O'Mara is now questioning Zimmerman's father, Robert Zimmerman Sr., who, like Zimmerman's wife, is testifying by phone. A notary public has sworn Robert Zimmerman in.
[Updated at 9:36 a.m. ET] O'Mara questioned Zimmerman's wife about the previous allegations against Zimmerman – including a charge of battery on a law enforcement officer and an altercation with a woman – that the prosecuting attorney brought up. Through questioning, Zimmerman's wife testified that the battery charge was reduced to a misdemeanor through a pretrial diversion program in which he took anger management classes, and that she believes he completed those classes. She also testified that in the altercation with the woman, Zimmerman was not arrested, and that the woman attacked Zimmerman and drew blood, and that as a result, Zimmerman got an injunction against that woman.
[Updated at 9:30 a.m. ET] The prosecuting attorney summed up the previous allegations - including the charge of battery on a law enforcement officer – and then asked Zimmerman's wife whether she still believes Zimmerman isn't a danger to the community. "Absolutely he is not a violent person,” nor is he a threat to the community, she responded.
[Updated at 9:24 a.m. ET] The prosecution is now questioning Zimmerman's wife about her assertion that Zimmerman poses no danger to the community. The prosecuting attorney is pointing out that Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder, and that Zimmerman is accused of a violent act.
The prosecuting attorney also is asking Zimmerman's wife about his previous brushes with the law, including a charge of battery of a law enforcement officer. He also brought up a woman's previous allegations that the woman and Zimmerman were in an altercation – Zimmerman's wife answered that she is aware that Zimmerman needed to defend himself from an attack by the woman, that the woman drew blood, and that Zimmerman filed for a protective order because of the incident. The prosecutor is asking her whether she is aware of those charges and allegations in the past, and she said she is.
[Updated at 9:20 a.m. ET] Zimmerman's wife said she fears for Zimmeran's safety and the safety of their family, and that is part of the reason why she is testifying by phone.
Asked if she believes Zimmerman is a danger to society, she said no. She said she has "no concerns whatsoever" about him.
[Updated at 9:18 a.m. ET] O'Mara is asking Zimmerman's wife about the family's financial ability to post bond. O'Mara is saying that Zimmerman is indigent; Zimmerman's wife said that she has talked to other family members about scraping up everything they could in anticipation of posting bond.
[Updated at 9:15 a.m. ET] With Zimmerman's wife on speakerphone, O'Mara has begun asking her questions. Asked if she would do everything in her power to ensure that Zimmerman – should he be granted bail – return to court when he is required to do so, she said yes. And she said she would contact the court if she lost contact with him.
[Updated at 9:11 a.m. ET] The court has called Zimmerman's wife on the phone. A notary public is with Mrs. Zimmerman and is swearing her in.
[Updated at 9:08 a.m. ET] Lester has begun the proceeding. After the attorneys identified themselves to the judge, O'Mara kicked off the bond request and told the judge that witnesses are available by phone. The court is calling those witnesses now. As we noted earlier, Zimmerman's family has offered to give testimony by phone.
[Updated at 9:04 a.m. ET] Zimmerman, wearing a dark gray suit, white shirt and light gray tie, has entered the courtroom and has seated himself next to O'Mara.
[Updated at 9:00 a.m. ET] Martin's parents are, indeed, in the courtroom, and they've taken their seats. O'Mara, Zimmerman's attorney, also is standing the courtroom, waiting for the proceeding to begin.
[Updated at 8:59 a.m. ET] Check out this piece on why evidence in the case may come up in the bond hearing. The prosecutor, Corey, has the burden of showing why bond should not be set or that it should be high. The burden is referred to as "proof of guilt is evident or presumption of guilt is great." Corey would have to convince Lester that a jury would convict Zimmerman.
[Updated at 8:55 a.m. ET] The bond hearing is expected to begin in minutes. Martin's parents are expected to be at the hearing, and this would be the first time that they and Zimmerman are in the same room, CNN's Martin Savidge tells us from the site.
O'Mara filed a motion that asks the court to allow Zimmerman's family members to provide testimony at the bond hearing by telephone. The state attorney's office did not object.
...that Zimmerman, a man of Mexican-Jewish descent, was attacked by a black boy high on PCP. Zimmerman should have known than to mess with someone who was on obviously on PCP. According to the phone recording he knew this as well, but he couldn't help himself. Z will get off on self defense for shooting to protect himself from 6'3" black boy on PCP.
What PCP? You don't know what you are talking about, just making up lies to justify that young man's wrongful death.
Yvonne....you are correct except for your opening statement. How can you follow with "The day of judgement is coming and so many of you will have to answer for your ignorant ways"? Race should not have been an issue or factor in this case. It's about a YOUNG ADULT that was killed and now his parents will never get to see him grow up end of story. When did it become a crime to walk to the store? The man should be held accountable for his mistake. His family should not have to be afraid because the man mistakely killed a boy, the man is to blame not his family. Racism will never go away because all races play the card. You have never heard of a white guy getting killed by a black man and the family being afraid for their lives. I think we feel the need to play the race card to be heard and if that's what the family had to do to get justice for their son, well I probably would have done the same thing, but the family isn't to blame. My prayers go out to both families.
When I see "The New Black Panthers" mentioned in a post here, I IMMEDIATELY know the poster is a Fox "News" viewer. That is their latest boogeyman to scare their viewers. Never mind the hundreds (if not thousands) of white supremicist groups that exist – apparently these groups are not allowed if you are not white (fyi – white maile here). I have noticed that when Fox News brings out the New Black Panthers boogeyman, they always show the same two guys in a photo. So they are scared of two guys?
There would be no story here had George Zimmerman minded what the police told him. He would not have been in a fight with this CHILD, and killed this child, had he minded what the police told him. Zimmerman could not have claimed any so called beating had he minded what the police had told him. This child was probably scared to death, when he realized this man following him, with all the predators you hear about on TV stealing children, and he reacted the only way he knew to protect himself. I would have reacted the same way. Gearge Zimmerman needs to be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, no if ands or buts about it. The stand your ground law does not apply here because Zimmerman was pursuing this child, not protecting anything he owned, etc. He was totally in the wrong and the courts will prove this. Where does the stand your ground law come in to effect here?????
What did the police tell him to do? Your post doesn't make any sense.
AGREED: Real Justice Will Always Be Denied For Blacks in America, Regardless if they are the Victim or Perpetrator of A Crime!!!
I totally agree with everything you've said, though it was the 911 operator he ignored, not the actual police officers.
A CHILD? Give me a break. The CHILD was 17. That's hardly a CHILD.
corby, he did take the advice of the dispatcher and stopped following Trayvon. If you look at all of the facts and the positioning of the body, Zimms truck and Martin's apartment it's pretty obvious that Martin came back to confront Zimmerman. If you listen to the 911 call Zimmerman made it's pretty clear that he stopped following Martin and lost sight of him.
ahahah your kidding me right??
Martin was not a child as the media portrays him by showing pictures of him when he was 14. He was 17 and over 6ft tall. We don't know what the evidence is going to say, so why are you judging him in the court of publc opinion? Let the judicial system to its job.
I agree. He pursued the kid against the advice of the 911 operator for no purpose. He would have had no reason to worry about the kid being armed if he did what he was told. Neighborhood watch people shouldn't be armed – they are not cops, they shouldn't be pursuing people. The 'stand your ground' law isn't 'chase someone down, make them attack you, then shoot them' law. What I am afraid of is, even though Zimmerman was wrong, he may get off because they are trying to press for second degree murder instead of manslaughter.
When a 6' "child" decides to attack, self defense is justified. You don't know what happened there any more than the media.
The judge seems to be very fair. My heart goes out to both families, and to both of the people involved. Zimmerman will never be able to have a normal life because of a split second decision. My prayers to all close parties involved.
Your Heart Should Go Out To The Victim Trayvon Martin and the Unequal Justice Than Black and Latinos and Asians and Natives Go Through on the Had Of Whites in This Country called Amerikkka!!
Sad to hear this coward is free after having committed cold blooded murder.
Innocent until "PROVEN" guilty.
Apparently, an experienced judge who has all of the evidence available at the time disagrees with you.
murder??? SELF DEFENSE PLAIN AND SIMPLE! noone should go around punching people. I would have done the samething!
personally, i would not shoot someone that was beating me up in a fight. but then, i've never had someone on top of me slamming my head into the ground. 'course, i've never owned a gun, so it's nigh impossible to shoot someone. might i digress, it's pretty obvious, as a neighborhood watch person (i'm assuming he had the blessing of the neighborhood to run around challenging strangers, while carrying a gun), zimmerman had every right to ask martin if he had business in the neighborhood. it's also obvious, race, creed, color, whatever, had absolutely nothing to do with what happened. and though it's somewhat lost on trayvon's supporters, i'm going to go out on a limb and assume zimmerman didn't give himself a bloody lip and beat the back of his head on the ground.
It is Zimmermans account that Trayvon was on top of him slamming his head into the concrete and to me not likely the truth but instead an attempt to support self defense. As for hi scraces, it is not uncommon for murders to sustain wounds from their victim trying to save their life. In fact, I am not surprised that he has minor wounds. I expect them...some one who has been in a fight for their life would need medical help aftewards but Zimmerman clearly did not. He followed, confronted and killed the young man for nothing and now he has no choice but to try to justify the murder.
OF COUSRE A BOND IS GRANTED! THIS IS AMERICA! WHERE YOU CAN KILL A KID! AND YOUR PUNISHMENT IS DETERMINE BASE ON WHO YOU ARE AND WHERE LIVE, WHO YOU KNOW etc............
America – countriy where you can get arrested for defending yourself from some jewelery thieving burglar who attacked you because you caught him scoping out houses to rob
Of course you're right, this man is guilty before he has a court date! Lets hang him without a trail, and burn his body! Sheesh you sound so motivating with your capslock dementia.
Good. Can't wait for the massive chimpout when he's found innocent at the end of his trial.
Be very careful on the racist comments you blogged. You will be held accountable for sure!
He's not innocent and never will be – he took a life – period.
He's already innocent. He can't be "found" innocent. He can only be proven and "found" guilty.
Good,Can't wait for the massive chimpout and tear the white trashes when he's found innocent at the end of his trial:)
Happy show !!!!!!!!!
Luckily I think humans are more "aware" of the threat that "people who look like Trayvon" pose to society. If they chimp out after the trial like they did in LA in 1992 I have a feeling they might regret it.
He should run away when the kid stand his ground,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
How come CNN doesn't show the new ABC photo Zimmerman's bloody head 3 minutes after the incident. Oh I know it doesn't fit in with their narrative of racism. Still Anderson Cooper is begging someone to validate his claim that he heard a racial slur on the 911 tape. This is why CNN ratings suck.
very good points. I just hope Zim gets a fair trial with all the hooplah going on.
If Zimmerman isn't convicted with a 25 yeara at least in the pen there will be a massive nationwide riot of AAs.
So for the good of the country Z should be sentenced or look out whites.
Let's hope so, I have a lot of ammo to blow.
So much for a fair trial, right?
Clearly Zimmerman is not white, he's hispanic and even appeared to have a bit of an accent, not sure why he had an accent, but he does. There are a lot of very racist people on this board and it goes all ways of racism. It's disgusting.
Glad he got bond I hope someone will step up and post it.
Justice was already served when No Limit Ni66a got what he deserved.
This country would be much better off without the AAs.
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