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George Zimmerman Released From Jail [VIDEOS]

George Zimmerman was released around midnight Sunday from a county jail on $150,000 bail as he awaits his second-degree murder trial for fatally shooting Trayvon Martin.
The neighborhood watch volunteer was wearing a brown jacket and blue jeans and carrying a paper bag. He met a man in a white vehicle and drove away. His ultimate destination is being kept secret for his safety and it could be outside Florida.
Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester said at a hearing Friday he cannot have any guns and must observe a 7 p.m.-to-6 a.m. curfew. Zimmerman also surrendered his passport.
He had to put up 10 percent, or $15,000, to make bail. His father had indicated he might take out a second mortgage.

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(CNN) -- George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer charged with murder in the February death of Trayvon Martin, has been released on bail from a Florida jail.


Zimmerman walked out of the John E. Polk Correctional Facility in Sanford, Florida, around midnight Sunday, wearing a brown jacket and blue jeans and carrying a brown paper bag in his arms. He got into the back of a white BMW and did not speak to reporters.


It was not immediately known where he was headed.


The Seminole County Sheriff's Office said Zimmerman was fitted with an electronic monitoring device, which can keep tabs on his whereabouts in real time.


Over the weekend, his lawyer had said Zimmerman could remain behind bars until the middle of this week due to concerns about collecting enough funds for his bond, which was set at $150,000.


With the 10% cash payment customarily made to secure bond, Zimmerman's family needed $15,000 for him to make bail.


Attorney Mark O'Mara visited Zimmerman on Saturday, a day after county Judge Kenneth R. Lester Jr. set the bond. Prosecutors had asked that Zimmerman remain in jail without bond until trial or that it be set at $1 million.


Speaking to reporters Saturday outside the jail, O'Mara said his client is aware this is "a long, long process."


"He's still very worried about the fact that he's facing a life sentence on a 2nd-degree murder charge," O'Mara said.


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.


Zimmerman prosecution 'abysmal'

 

Lawyers for Martin's family, however, called the apology a self-serving act by a man facing a life-in-prison sentence if convicted of the second-degree murder charge.

"This was the most disingenuous, insulting thing I've ever seen," said Martin family attorney Natalie Jackson.


Martin's parents were "completely devastated" over the decision to allow Zimmerman to post bond, said another family attorney, Benjamin Crump.


Assistant State Attorney Bernie de la Rionda had argued for a higher bond total. Prior run-ins with a police officer and a woman who named him in a domestic violence injunction show that Zimmerman is violent and a threat to the community, de la Rionda said.

Lester, however, described the incidents as "run of the mill" and "somewhat mild" in approving O'Mara's request for bond.


HLN: Zimmerman wife talks publicly for the first time

The judge told O'Mara to talk to authorities about his request to allow Zimmerman to leave Florida while awaiting trial. O'Mara said he is concerned about threats to Zimmerman's safety, as well as that of his family.


De la Rionda said no decision has been made on whether to allow Zimmerman to leave the state.


Zimmerman's father testified Friday that when he saw his son the day after Martin's shooting, he was wearing a protective cover over his nose, his face was swollen, and he had two vertical gashes on his head. He also reportedly suffered a broken nose.


Martin's family and the special prosecutor appointed to investigate the case have rejected that argument, saying they believe Zimmerman disobeyed the instructions of a police dispatcher to stop following Martin, racially profiled him and unjustly killed him.


Timeline of case

Although details of the shooting remain murky, what is known is that Martin ventured out on February 26 from the home of his father's fiancee in Sanford and went to a nearby convenience store, where he bought a bag of Skittles and an Arizona Iced Tea.


On his way back, he had a confrontation with Zimmerman, who shot him.


Zimmerman had called 911 to complain about a suspicious person in the neighborhood, according to authorities.


In the call, Zimmerman said he was following Martin after the teen started to run, prompting the dispatcher to tell him, "We don't need you to do that." Zimmerman pursued Martin anyway.


Florida to review 'stand your ground' law

After briefly losing track of the teen, Zimmerman told authorities the teen approached him and the two exchanged words. Zimmerman said he reached for his cell phone, then Martin punched him in the nose. Zimmerman said Martin pinned him down and began slamming his head onto the sidewalk, leading to the shooting.


Police have said Zimmerman was not immediately charged because there was no evidence to disprove his account that he had acted in self-defense. A police report indicated he was bleeding from the nose and the back of his head.


O'Mara said Saturday that he expects the prosecution was holding back some evidence that is key to its case during Friday's court hearing.


"I'm sure the state has a lot more information," the lawyer said, describing what was presented Friday as "snippets of the evidence." "I'm just looking forward to getting it."

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Comment by BIG F* on April 24, 2012 at 2:20am

@ Tall Island Girl, I myself don't think he would be able to hide good too because it's too many people looking for him.

@ Queenlinda6, You are right, no matter how hard a person try they can not hide from God.

@ Odyssey, your comment explain what I was trying to say in one of my other comments. If Zimmerman would of listened to the 911 dispatcher and not follow Trayvon Martin and let the police take care of it then they would of found out that he was where he was suppose to be and he was doing nothing wrong and Trayvon would of been here with us today. If for some chance he get away with this then it's like they are saying a black person can and should be killed because of what they are wearing, when you have people in this world wearing suits and ties going around doing some of the worst crimes out here.  

@ Evolution, I'm with you because I don't wish death on nobody no matter what but there are some pretty mad people out there over this case. Now if he do make it to face the system this case will show the world what the U.S system is really about. I have a really good feeling if he get off it's not going to be pretty out here.

Comment by evolution on April 23, 2012 at 7:42pm

I don’t want anything to happen to him before the trail…I want him to face the system and let us see if it’s any good.

Comment by queenlinda6 on April 23, 2012 at 5:21pm

can not hide from GOD!

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