George Zimmerman gets bond in Trayvon Martin slaying case

George+Zimmerman+gets+bond+in+Trayvon+Martin+slaying+case

(©2012 Pool / Gary W. Green, Orlando Sentinel)

George Zimmerman walks back to the defense table after taking the stand at his bond hearing Friday. (©2012 Pool / Gary W. Green, Orlando Sentinel)

George Zimmerman made a public apology to the family of Trayvon Martin today during his bond hearing at the Seminole County Criminal Justice Center in Sanford, Fla.
Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester granted bond for Zimmerman, set at $150,000, per the request of defense attorney Mark O’Mara. Zimmerman has been charged with the second-degree murder of 17 year-old Trayvon Martin.
Zimmerman took the stand after the questioning of his wife, mother, and father via telephone.
“I am truly sorry for the loss of your child,” Zimmerman said to Martin’s parents. “I did not know how old he was and I did not know if he was armed or not.”
Representatives for the Martin family called the apology “disingenuous” and “self-serving.”
Zimmerman was not released from jail Friday, to allow time for the fitting of a GPS tracking device and for arrangement of the appropriate security measures. Zimmerman will be under electronic surveillance and will be expected to report to authorities every three days. It will be left to state authorities to decide if Zimmermann should be allowed to leave the state for his safety and to seek work.
Zimmerman’s family echoed concerns for their own safety, testifying that they have received hate mail.
“Anything that happens to my husband happens to me,” said Shellie Zimmerman, wife of George.
Zimmerman’s wife and mother also argued that he was not a violent person, offering alternative perspectives to his two prior altercations with a law enforcement officer and a former girlfriend.
“He is absolutely not a violent person,” his wife insisted.
Zimmerman’s father echoed the sentiment. “I have never seen him be violent unless provoked,” said Robert Zimmerman Sr., “and then he turns the other cheek.”
Zimmerman’s father also testified about the injuries his son sustained during the scuffle with Martin.
“I saw the scars on the back of his head, and I saw his swollen face,” Zimmerman Sr. said.
State investigator Dale Gilbreath confirmed that while the physical injuries sustained by Zimmerman are supported by evidence, Zimmerman’s sworn statements do not match the physical evidence.
Zimmerman made statements to police about the manner of Martin’s physical attack on him, including that Martin attempted to suffocate him and that Martin was “circling” Zimmerman’s car. Gilbreath said that while Zimmerman’s injuries matched the evidence, his story did not.
“Zimmerman sustained injuries that were consistent with trauma to the back of the head,” Gilbreath confirmed, but his statements “were not consistent with the physical evidence.”
Gilbreath also testified that the gunshot that killed Martin was fired “at close proximity,” close enough to leave powder burns on Martin’s sweatshirt.
Defense attorney Mark O’Mara questioned Gilbreath extensively about the language of the probable cause affidavit submitted by the state, particularly phrases stating that Zimmerman had “confronted” Martin.
“Do you have any evidence that suggests who started the altercation?” O’Mara asked Gilbreath.
“No,” Gilbreath said.
Gilbreath stood by the language in the affidavit, saying that Zimmerman “profiled” Martin.
“Zimmerman saw Martin, formed an idea in his head, and contacted the Sanford police department without facts,” he said.
Testimony from Zimmerman’s mother refuted the belief of many that her son was motivated by racial profiling.
Gladys Zimmerman told the court of her son’s dedication to mentoring two black youths, something she claims he has been doing twice a week for the past two years.
“I told him not to go, because it was dangerous,” she said, “but he said, ‘Mom, if I don’t go, they don’t have nobody.’”