April 20th, 2012
12:14 PM ET

Live blog: Zimmerman 'sorry' for loss of Martins' son; bond set at $150,000

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.

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Filed under: Courts • Florida • Justice • Trayvon Martin
soundoff (1,341 Responses)
  1. JOH

    So are million others trapped in private prisons for minor marijuana misdemeanors.

    April 20, 2012 at 9:37 am | Report abuse |
  2. Keysha

    so why can they bring Zimmerman's past up but for some reason Martin's past with his school issues etc are irrelevant (per the Matin's attorneys)??

    April 20, 2012 at 9:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Troma

      Because his past wont garner sympathy from CNN readers.

      April 20, 2012 at 9:41 am | Report abuse |
    • exact

      even if Trayvon Martin had a fist fight in school, that's no where near as bad as a locked and loaded 9 mil.

      April 20, 2012 at 9:44 am | Report abuse |
    • Benji2012

      Because a history of aggression and violence is kinda important when you're the shooter. Trayvon being suspended from school has nothing to do with what happened that night, Zimmerman's apparent history of aggression and violence does.

      April 20, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • tonyinstax

      trust me, they will bring up ALL of Martin's past in an effort to make Z look like the 'victim'. don't worry, Martin was a black boy and they are going to drag him through the mud a few more times in order to get this vigilante off.

      April 20, 2012 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • C Evans

      Per his mother too.

      April 20, 2012 at 10:03 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Just be Fair

    K please explain what you mean by or whom your talking about when you say, "You dont have the right to attack someone"

    April 20, 2012 at 9:37 am | Report abuse |
  4. phnxrth

    People might do well to consider that not finding Zimmerman guilty does not equate with all blacks being targets.

    Also consider that we live in a time of extreme vigilantism. Societies are out of control and people feel the need to do something to make it right. That's what all these cases of random shootings boil down to.

    That doesn't make it right, but people need to clarify their thinking.

    April 20, 2012 at 9:37 am | Report abuse |
    • namvet527

      They will be if Zimmerman is found guilty

      April 20, 2012 at 9:39 am | Report abuse |
    • day

      lesson learned here when having to chose an armed neighborhood or an unarmed neighborhood to eat skittles duh which one do you think he shoul of went to.WRONG CHOICE he was not the brightest bulb on the tree
      i live in a armed neighborhood. the USA

      April 21, 2012 at 8:27 am | Report abuse |
  5. Skip

    Did CNN notice the pix of GZs bloody head. The whole world is talking about it. No racial slur. Obvious injury to GZ.
    The case is starting to look more and more like justifiable homicide and not murder.

    April 20, 2012 at 9:37 am | Report abuse |
    • exact

      what would you rather have, a bloody scratch on your head or a smoking hole in your chest?

      April 20, 2012 at 9:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Terri

      So Skip are you saying if you instigate trouble and are getting your tail kicked you should be able to shoot and kill the person you provoked and get away with it?

      April 20, 2012 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Benji2012

      Being on the losing end of a fist fight does not justify shooting someone.

      April 20, 2012 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
  6. lefty avenger

    A guy running around following people with a gun and shooting unarmed people is not violent? Yeah right.

    April 20, 2012 at 9:38 am | Report abuse |
  7. mcskadittle

    not violent? what do you call murder?

    April 20, 2012 at 9:38 am | Report abuse |
    • exact

      his wife would defend him if he sat in the floor with someone's head in his lap... She and his family are going to defend him no matter what, it's only a futile attempt of the defense to protect him.

      April 20, 2012 at 9:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Terri

      Murder is about as violent as can be.

      April 20, 2012 at 9:41 am | Report abuse |
  8. exact

    LOL, hope you all are taking this in. His prior history shows that he goes too far, and loses his temper, that he is stubborn, and seems to think he makes all the rules, and that he's always the one whose in charge. Looks bad for him, he has a history of anger problems, and disputes that get to a head. He's been physically violent in most instances. This supports him tackling Trayvon. He slapped a woman in the mouth and told her "how does that feel" he's got an ego/power trip problem too. I think his life of roaming the world being that person that sets all rules is over. haha
    Send him up the river, without a paddle...

    April 20, 2012 at 9:38 am | Report abuse |
    • Skip

      House of cards ... GZ will be home for dinner.

      April 20, 2012 at 9:51 am | Report abuse |
  9. Terri

    Not a violent man? No threat to society? Wow, he stalked and gunned down a teenage boy. He has a record of past violence as well. He is not only violent, he is a vigilante who killed a kid who was minding his own business. I feel for Zimmerman because his actions after the fact depict a man who does have remorse but as the saying goes "you have to pay to play". If it turns out this Florida law supports this action the nation is in a world of hurt. I wonder how many supporters of this law realize that it will also support criminals? All they have to do is attack and kill someone while no one else is around then claim they were attacked and in fear for their lives. With no witnesses who is to prove any different?

    April 20, 2012 at 9:39 am | Report abuse |
    • Russell

      Obviously you have access to some direct evidence that GZ was the agressor in this matter, because as I listened to the detective testify this morning, he stated that he did not have any evidence to contradict the claim by GZ that he lost track of Travon and stated back to his SUV and was then confronted by Travon. Why don't you sit back and relax and let the trial proceed before you assume something that may not be true.

      April 20, 2012 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
    • RIC

      teri it is called the 2nd AMMENDMENT not the cement treatment

      April 21, 2012 at 8:33 am | Report abuse |
  10. lefty avenger

    Zimmerman is guilty and should be executed by firing squad. He deserves the same fate as he gave Trayvon Martin.

    April 20, 2012 at 9:39 am | Report abuse |
  11. Natin

    What does statistics regarding black and white incarcarations have to with this specific case. What you have stated is that because more black folk are in prison than white folk that black folk are the problem in America. And because black folk are a problem "as defined by your logic" Zimmerman could not have not have any role in instigating the conflict with Trayvon and it could only be caused by Trayvon becasue he is black and there are more black people in prison. That is one of the dumbest locical thought processes I have ever heard in my life; how about we wait until all the evidence is brought to court before we make up our minds based on rumors and stereotypes. We don't know for a fact if or why Trayvon attacked a man who was following a man armed with a gun in the middle of the night. Maybe he did attack him, maybe he didn't, and again maybe he did becasue he was scared and thought he needed to defend himself against a strange armed man. Who knows; you definately don't.

    April 20, 2012 at 9:39 am | Report abuse |
    • DLinLA


      "That is one of the dumbest locical thought processes I have ever heard in my life". That is the thought process of the typical low IQ, low information conservative voter.

      April 20, 2012 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
  12. Victor Hayes

    Post bail and live every single day in fear of your life. You can't hide forever. Zimmerman deserves the same level of due process that he gave Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman is a danger to the community (He murdered an unarmed teenager) and is facing up to 15 years in DOC which makes him a flight risk. It is more than likely he will not obey the terms of his release due to the fact that he ignored law enforcement requests on the night in question. Bail set at $1.5 million

    April 20, 2012 at 9:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Terri

      And he was already paranoid

      April 20, 2012 at 9:44 am | Report abuse |
  13. Dodd, T


    April 20, 2012 at 9:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Paulie

      The guy bashed his head against a curb- abcnews has the pictues go look.

      April 20, 2012 at 9:44 am | Report abuse |
    • RIP2HIM

      Zimmerman got away with violent acts for too long. I think its time for justice to be served and for a lesson to be LEARNED>

      April 20, 2012 at 9:49 am | Report abuse |
    • U R A Liar!!!!

      @Paulie – I went and checked ABCnews for the pictures you claimed were there. Guess what, they aren't there. Good job on that lie.

      April 20, 2012 at 9:51 am | Report abuse |
  14. Justin

    Good luck George! You'll be fine 🙂

    April 20, 2012 at 9:41 am | Report abuse |
  15. lobbyistgrl

    I think this is silly. They are asking for character witnesses from his wife and father? That should not even be allowed. How is asking his family if he is a flight risk or a risk to the community valid?

    April 20, 2012 at 9:42 am | Report abuse |
    • RIP2HIM

      I agree if i was the judge I would go in

      April 20, 2012 at 9:51 am | Report abuse |
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