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George Zimmerman released on bail, awaits murder trial

23.04.2012  |  11:04

George Zimmerman has been released from a Florida county jail on $150,000 (£93,000) bail as he awaits his second-degree murder trial for the shooting of Trayvon Martin.

AP photo George Zimmerman has been released from a Florida county jail on $150,000 (£93,000) bail as he awaits his second-degree murder trial for the shooting of Trayvon Martin.The neighborhood watch volunteer was released shortly before midnight on Sunday. Wearing a brown jacket and blue jeans and carrying a paper bag, he walked out with another man past photographers gathered outside. Both then got into a white BMW vehicle and drove away. Moments before, two Seminole county sheriff's vehicles blocked access to the parking lot where Zimmerman was being released, says The Guardian.

Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester said at a hearing Friday that Zimmerman cannot have any guns and must observe a 7 p.m.-to-6 a.m. curfew. Zimmerman also surrendered his passport.

Zimmerman had to put up 10 percent, or $15,000, to make bail. His father had indicated he might take out a second mortgage.Zimmerman worked at a mortgage risk-management company at the time of the shooting and his wife is in nursing school. A website was set up to collect donations for Zimmerman's defense fund.

It is unclear how much has been raised. Bail is not unheard of in second-degree murder cases, and legal experts had predicted it would be granted for Zimmerman because of his ties to the community, because he turned himself in after he was charged last week, and because he has never been convicted of a serious crime, informs USA TODAY. Zimmerman, 28, apologized in court Friday to Trayvon Martin's family for shooting the unarmed, black 17-year-old boy in a confrontation that has riveted the nation and sparked intense discussions about race and gun control."I wanted to say I am sorry for the loss of your son," he said in an unusual appeal directly to Martin's family before he testified in the Seminole County Courthouse in Sanford.

"I thought he was a little bit younger than I was, and I did not know if he was armed or not."O'Mara said after the hearing that his client was responding to an interview in which Martin's mother, Sybrina Fulton, said she wanted to hear from the man who shot her son. "He didn't want to defend himself, he didn't want to discuss the facts of the case. He heard the request of the family, and he wanted to respond to it," O'Mara said, adding that an attempt to apologize to the family in private was rebuffed, according to CNN International..



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