BREAKING: George Zimmerman Second Bond Set At $1 Million
11 months ago
Judge delayed decision last week to weigh case evidence
A Florida judge on Thursday granted George Zimmerman's request for a second bond and release from jail.
After taking a few days to weigh evidence, Judge Kenneth Lester Jr. set bond at $1 million for the 28-year-old former neighborhood watch captain, who is charged with second-degree murder in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.
In the court's order, Lester expressed concern that Zimmerman intended to flee the jurisdiction, by securing a lower bond amount and hiding much of the nearly $150,000 he raised through a now-defunct legal defense fund website.
"(Zimmerman's attorney) has attempted to portray the Defendant as being a confused young man who was fearful and experienced a moment of weakness and who may have acted out of some sense of 'betrayal' by the system," Lester wrote in the court's order.
"Based upon all the evidence presented, this Court finds the opposite," Lester continued in his explanation of the order. "The Defendant tried to manipulate the system when he was presented the opportunity to do so. He is an adult by every legal definition; Trayvon Martin is the only male whose youth is relevant to this case."
Zimmerman has claimed self-defense in the Feb. 26 shooting of the 17-year-old unarmed Martin and hopes to benefit from the state's controversial "Stand Your Ground" law.
Lester's order stipulates several conditions for Zimmerman's release: no contact with Martin's family, no leaving Seminole County without prior court approval and no opening or maintaining bank accounts. He must also wear an electronic monitoring device, stay away from the airport and adhere to a strict curfew.
It was not clear Thursday afternoon when arrangements would be made for his release.
Zimmerman's lawyer Mark O’Mara said Friday that Zimmerman’s legal defense fund had a balance of $211,000, more than enough to cover the 10 percent non-refundable portion charged by most bonding companies, the Orlando Sentinel reports.
At the bond hearing last Friday, Zimmerman appeared in court unshackled and dressed in a suit. He did not take the stand to explain why he and his wife misled the court about their personal finances.
View Judge Lester's full order below: