George Zimmerman bond set at $150,000, judge says he can leave the state
(CBS/AP) SANFORD, Fla. - A Florida judge set neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman's bond at $150,000 in a hearing Friday morning.
Zimmerman had asked that he be released while he awaits trial for the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.
Defense attorney Mark O'Mara had asked for $15,000 bond. He stated Zimmerman had turned himself in, has been in constant contact with Florida law enforcement since the incident, and was well established in the community.
Assistant State Attorney Bernardo de la Rionda asked that if the judge decided to set bond, to make it $1 million.
As part of the conditions of his potential release, Judge Kenneth Lester instructed that Zimmerman not be allowed to possess firearms of any kind, nor can he use alcohol or have any contact with the Martin family. The judge imposed a curfew from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. on Zimmerman and said he should be fitted with a GPS monitoring device. He said that if Zimmerman and his attorney can work it out with the sheriff's department, he had no objection to Zimmerman residing out of state before the trial begins.
Zimmerman took the stand before the ruling, telling Trayvon Martin's parents he was sorry they lost their child.
"I didn't know how old he was," said Zimmerman. "I didn't know if he was armed."
When asked why he had waited so long to tell the victim's father and mother he was sorry, Zimmerman said, "I was told not to communicate with them."
Zimmerman's wife, Shellie Nicole Zimmerman, testified via telephone, saying that she did not appear in court because she was concerned for her and her family's safety. The defendant's mother, Gladys Zimmerman, also testified via telephone and said the family had received threats since the incident.
Shellie Zimmerman stated she believes her husband of five years is "absolutely not a violent person or a danger to the community."
De la Rionda questioned her about two prior incidents. In 2005, Zimmerman had to take anger management courses after an undercover law enforcement officer accused him of attacking him as he tried to arrest the defendant's friend. In another case, a girlfriend accused Zimmerman of attacking her.
Shellie Zimmerman said she hasn't been with George since he went into hiding after shooting Martin. When asked about the family's financial situation, she told the court that she was currently finishing nursing school, and that she and her husband are both unemployed and do not own their house.
Zimmerman's father also testified via phone. He stated he has lived in Florida for over five years and maintained fairly close contact with his son.
When asked if his son was a violent man, he said, "I've never known him to be violent at all unless he was provoked and he would turn the other cheek."
Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder in the death of Trayvon Martin, who was shot on Feb. 26 in Sanford, Fla. Zimmerman has claimed self-defense under Florida's "stand your ground" law, which eliminates a person's duty to retreat under threat of death or serious injury.
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