Seminole County Circuit Court Judge Kenneth Lester set George Zimmerman's bond at $150,000 yesterday, saying the 28-year-old is not a threat to community despite being charged with second degree murder for killing Trayvon Martin. The $150,000 bond is significantly less than the $1 million the state requested.
While on the stand, a gaunt Zimmerman apologized to Martin's parents, Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton. Addressing the family for the first time, Zimmerman said "I am sorry for the loss of your sonâ€¦ I did not know if he was armed or not." He added "I did not know how old he was. I thought he was a little bit older than I was."
The prosecution asked why it took so long for Zimmerman to reach out to Martin's parents, and he explained that he had been instructed not to by his attorney. Benjamin Crump, the Martin family attorney, said the family felt the apology was late, self-serving and "insincere."
Zimmerman could be released soon, but he'll have to come up with the full $150,000 to bond out. Many believe that you only have to produce 10 percent of the bond to be released, but that's actually the premium paid to a bail bondsman or surety company. Judge Lester set very strict conditions for his bond: he cannot have any firearms, use drugs or alcohol and must adhere to a curfew. In addition, he will be monitored by a GPS device.
As the bond hearing took place yesterday morning, a photo allegedly showing the bloodied back of Zimmerman's head leaked. Though the photo lends credibility to Zimmerman's account of what happened on Feb. 26, the authenticity of the image has been questioned because whoever took it refuses to come forward.
Though it's not common for people charged with murder to receive bond, it's also not unheard of. Should Zimmerman be able to produce the bond, he will live in hiding while awaiting trial.