Bond issue next up as Zimmerman case progresses

Attorney: Geroge Zimmerman is "very frightened"
George Zimmerman made his first court appearance since being charged with the murder of Trayvon Martin. Mark Strassmann spoke with his attorney, who is concerned about getting a fair trial.

(CBS News) George Zimmerman is still in police custody, facing murder charges for the shooting of Trayvon Martin on Feb. 26, 2012.

At his bond hearing next Friday, Zimmerman's new lawyer, Mark O'Mara, will argue his client is no flight risk and that if he wanted to run, he'd be long-gone six weeks after the shooting of Martin.

Zimmerman has not yet entered a plea. That will happen at his arraignment, scheduled for May 29. By then, he and his attorney hope, Zimmerman will be free on bond.

But there's another issue: whether Zimmerman, facing murder charges, is actually safer behind bars.

George Zimmerman makes first court appearance
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Complete coverage: Trayvon Martin Shooting

Zimmerman's first hearing was purely procedural and lasted less than three minutes. For his jailhouse protection, the second-degree murder defendant is staying alone in a cell designed for two inmates.

Inside jail or out, Zimmerman's safety worries his lawyer. When asked what would surprise Zimmerman's critics most about him, O'Mara said, "That he truly isn't a monster, I think, that some people have made him out to be. Certainly, this was a tragic intersection of two young men's lives with enormously tragic consequences to one of them."

Special prosecutor Angela Corey outlined her case in a court affidavit. It claims: "Zimmerman disregarded the police dispatcher" when he instructed Zimmerman not to follow the teenager.

Zimmerman then "got out of his vehicle and followed Martin" who "tried to run home." It also says Sybrina Fulton, Martin's mother, "identified screams heard in the background of a 911 call as her son's."

Zimmerman hid for most of the six weeks he faced no charges for killing unarmed Trayvon Martin. He claimed it was in self-defense.

But his arrest relieved many people in Sanford, Fla. Edward Cason, a Sanford resident, told CBS News, "I'm not going to lie to you. I wanted to do a back flip. ... What went through my head is, 'It's about time. It took them long enough.'"

Another, Carolyn Walker, said, "We feel like that's the first step in this particular case. But not only do we want justice for Trayvon Martin. We also want justice for George Zimmerman."

  • Mark Strassmann
    Mark Strassmann

    Mark Strassmann has been a CBS News correspondent since January 2001 and is based in the Atlanta bureau.