Zimmerman Released from Jail on Bond

By: AP; Eyewitness News Email
By: AP; Eyewitness News Email
In an unusually low-key turn to a high-profile case, George Zimmerman was released without incident around midnight Sunday from a Florida county jail on $150,000 bail as he awaits his second-degree murder trial for fatally shooting Trayvon Martin.

George Zimmerman, left, walks out of the intake building at the John E. Polk Correctional Facility with an unidentified man on Sunday, April 22, 2012, in Sanford, Fla. Zimmerman posted bail on a $150,000 bond on a second degree murder charge in the February shooting death of 17 year-old Trayvon Martin In Sanford, Fla. (AP Photo/Brian Blanco)

Tallahassee, FL 4-23-2012

George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watchman who shot umarmed teen Trayvon Martin, is now free to await trial.

Zimmerman was released from the Seminole County Jail around midnight Sunday.

A judge set Zimmerman's bond at $150,000. That means he had to post $15,000.

"Until it all comes out in court and we really know what happened, I'm not willing to judge anybody. There's a higher judge of course for all of us," said John Holliday who has been following the Trayvon Martin case.

"From my point of view, I don't believe he should've been released," said Jabari Mullins who has also been following it.

George Zimmerman's location is being kept a secret for his safety.

SANFORD, FL 4-23-2012 --

In an unusually low-key turn to a high-profile case, George Zimmerman was released without incident around midnight Sunday from a Florida 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 walked out following another man and didn't look over at photographers gathered outside. He then followed the man into a white BMW vehicle and drove away.

Moments before, two Seminole County sheriff's vehicles blocked access to the intake building parking lot where Zimmerman was being released. Zimmerman emerged after two public information officers confirmed the credentials of the photographers outside.

No questions were shouted at Zimmerman, and he gave no statement.

His ultimate destination is being kept secret for his safety and it could be outside Florida.

As with the July 2011 release of Casey Anthony, the Florida woman acquitted of murder in the death of her daughter, Zimmerman was released around midnight. But the similarities end there. Anthony was quickly whisked away by deputy sheriffs armed with semi-automatic rifles as angry protesters jeered her. While news helicopters briefly tracked her SUV through Orlando before she slipped from public view, there was no such pursuit of Zimmerman, who will have to return for trial.

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.

Prosecutors had asked for $1 million bail, citing two previous scrapes Zimmerman had with the law, neither of which resulted in charges. In 2005, he had to take anger management courses after he was accused of attacking an undercover officer who was trying to arrest Zimmerman's friend. In another incident, a girlfriend accused him of attacking her.

Zimmerman, 28, fatally shot Martin, 17, Feb. 26 inside the gated community where Zimmerman lived during an altercation. Martin was unarmed and was walking back to the home of his father's fiancΘe when Zimmerman saw him, called 911 and began following him. A fight broke out -- investigators say it is unknown who started it.

Zimmerman says Martin, who was visiting from Miami, attacked him. Zimmerman says he shot Martin in self-defense, citing Florida's "stand your ground" law, which gives broad legal protection to anyone who says they used deadly force because they feared death or great bodily harm.

Zimmerman was not charged for over six weeks, sparking national protests led by Martin's parents, civil rights groups and the Revs. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. Martin was black; Zimmerman's father is white and his mother is from Peru.

Earlier Sunday, Zimmerman's attorney was working to secure the money for bail and a safe place for Zimmerman to stay. But residents in Sanford, where Martin was killed, didn't expect a ruckus once Zimmerman was released.

City commissioners said they hadn't received calls from nervous residents. Protesters didn't show up outside the jail. And talk at one local coffee shop seldom focused on the case.

"It's just kind of a non-issue now," said Michele Church, a server at Mel's Family Diner. "That's pretty much all anybody in Sanford wanted, was an arrest, so it could be sorted out in the court system."

On Friday, a Florida judge agreed to let Zimmerman out on $150,000 bail. Defense attorney Mark O'Mara has said there are several options for where Zimmerman should go, but would not disclose any of them. Lester on Friday indicated Zimmerman would be allowed to leave the state if arrangements with law enforcement could be made for him to be monitored. He will be fitted with an electronic device.

About a half-dozen photographers and cameramen camped outside the Sanford jail Sunday, focused on the door marked "Bonds Rooms," where other people who had been arrested and released on bail exited. Zimmerman had entered the jail about a week earlier after more than a month of nationwide protests calling for his arrest.

"The mood in Sanford has calmed down tremendously," said Sanford Commissioner Patty Mahany, whose district includes the neighborhood where Martin was killed. "I think now that people are able to see the justice system taking place, even though they understand it's going to be quite slow, people are willing to just remain calm and really we're all getting back to our daily routines."

A spokeswoman for the Seminole County Sheriff's Office declined to release any information about whether they were increasing patrols or security.

Defense attorneys for other high-profile clients who awaited trial on bail have said Zimmerman should leave Florida and refrain from going out in public. Sanford residents say they aren't expecting to see him around the neighborhood anytime soon.

"They've already said they're going to move him to a safe place," Church said. "Everyone has calmed down. That's all anyone in Sanford wanted, an arrest."

Meanwhile, Martin's parents published a "Card of Thanks" in The Miami Herald obituary page Sunday. The note says Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin express their appreciation for all the public's support since their son's death. The notice includes a photograph of Trayvon Martin dressed in a hooded sweatshirt, similar to one he was wearing the evening he was killed.

"Words will never express how your love, support and prayers lifted our spirits and continue to give us the strength to march on," the letter says.

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  • by Justice For Matthew Owens Location: Tally on Apr 27, 2012 at 10:29 AM
    Where's the story about Matthew Owens being beaten by a group of black in the name of Trayvon Martin?
  • by Rob on Apr 26, 2012 at 01:31 AM
    Tallahassee states that... "OH!! Really? Zimmerman will be found guilty. He disrespected a direct order to not follow Travyon." It's a far cry from a direct order, Tallahassee. The non-emergency call dispatcher employee meerly states that, "You don't NEED to do that"... He doesn't forbid him... It's more like... Well we appreciate your help, but really we could get it done on our own. We don't really NEED you to help us. We can manage, but thanks. That's what it sounds like to me... but it's a mute point because it proves he DID quit following if you listen to the tape. Right at first he DOES take a few more "slowing" steps, but then they disappear & he thinks about it & catches his breath, etc. same as I've stated just before.
  • by Rob on Apr 26, 2012 at 01:20 AM
    Helen states that... "Zimmerman is a bully! None of this would have happened if he had followed the 911 dispatchers orders to not follow Trayvon, he chose to follow Trayvon. Has it occurred to you that Trayvon felt his life was being threatened?" Helen, did it ever occur to you that when Zimmerman's Boom Boom Boom sounds of his footsteps stop on the non emergency call & his panting out-of-breath from running voice fully recovers... and he even states that he's running & he got away & then in a calm voice fully recovered from being out of breath he talks about where they might meet, etc. ... Did it ever occur to you that this makes it apparent or clear by evidence that George Zimmerman could not have been following anymore and that he HAD to have given up the chase. So there could be NO Following as you say in this scenario. He even told the dispatch that he lost contact. The young boy with the long legs could RUN CIRCLES around George Zimmerman, Helen. He could not have felt threatened as you say. Why do you call Zimmerman a BULLY? Sounds like that's the way you WANT it to be. If you listen to the tape (evidence) with an open mind, you can only come to one conclusion... He stopped following. It's right on tape.
  • by Rob on Apr 26, 2012 at 01:05 AM
    Robert wrote... "Had the boy he shot been white, It would have not gone like this" I believe this with all my heart. If Trayvon had been white, I believe there would have been no charges. The charges are only a result of racist people marching as a result of racist people instigating them to do so, and of influencing media to also help them all in combination to put pressure on city managers & prosecutors and officials in government to bend to their wishes & arrest Zimmerman for the wrong reasons without real cause. And these pressures were enacted as a result of fraudulent influences. They knew they were doing it. They misled the media, etc. on purpose to get it all done... (the arrest). Everyone trusted the government so much that they "Just Knew" that they HAD to have more evidence that they were not yet sharing. Well, now that they testified under oath that they didn't have any... We now know that they didn't. If they now say they DO, then I guess they're guilty of perjury, yeah?
  • by Justice for George Location: Justice for George March on Apr 24, 2012 at 06:23 PM
    Justice for George' march will be held Saturday. I hope no one takes offense to people wearing white hoodies. After all it's JUST uh hoodie. Ours are just a little longer. Justice for George!
  • by Student on Apr 24, 2012 at 11:26 AM
    Who cares if treyvon beat someone up two days before and got suspended. That does not mean he deserved to die. The point is that zinmerman stalked him and chased after him running away and provoked anything if anything happened to happen its his fault...if someone is following and chasing me and I realize I cannot get away I'm
    Fighting for my life too
    • reply
      by anon on Apr 24, 2012 at 02:52 PM in reply to Student
      If Trayvon was running he would have made it home. How about you talk to the person instead of beating them bloody. It is called non-violent conflict resolution.
      • reply
        by Justice for George on Apr 24, 2012 at 06:20 PM in reply to anon
        The justice for George march will be held Saturday. Hopefully no one takes offense to us wearing white hoodies, after all it's just uh hoodie...right? ours are just a little longer....innocent hoodie!
  • by Concerned in Tally Location: Tallahassee on Apr 24, 2012 at 05:58 AM
    I don't know why everyone keeps making this a black and white issue ... you see at the end of the day the white people will not take the bad rep for this incident so Mr. Zimmereman stands alone and this is rather a black and "wannabe" white issue. I'm a hispanic female but I consider my race as black and Zimmerman looks darker than I do so I guess I missed that lesson.
  • by Rob on Apr 24, 2012 at 12:27 AM
    In Reply of Kelsey... lst of all, here is what Kelsay said... "Crump isn't the one who brought charges against anyone! Angela Corey decided there was enough evidence to charge him with 2nd degree murder! Crump had nothing to do with themurder charges dummy!" So you think I'm a dummy, yeah? Well, did you know Crump was intrumental in influencing the Media & FLORIDA to the extent he CAUSED the charges to happen. And he did it FRAUDULENTLY... By for one thing lying about DEE DEE... the girl he SAID was Trayvon's girlfriend and who he SAID was so tramatized that she couldn't attend the funeral & had to go to the hospital, etc. All of that as it turns out was lies. But it was effective in influencing to the arrest of George Zimmerman. Crump is in HOT WATER, I guarantee you. You just don't know about it yet. And neither do most of the racist blacks who support all this like Al Sharpton. He knew he was doing it, too. So did many others. And you're right... Corey is going to be in DEEP TROUBLE as well. She knows all too well that she had bogus charges. It's all a fraud and it's coming out. DEE DEE was tweeting all day talking about her REAL Boyfriend and Doing her Hair & a slew of other things... when they said she was SUPPOSED to be doing the things they said... Such as being in the hospital, etc. It's a fraud. Several people need to be prosecuted. They are trying to put Zimmerman in prison. If it did happen to be successful it would be no sweat off their skin. If people are killed which it's almost certain there will be if there hasn't been already... Aparently they don't give a care. I just heard one story about a bunch of kids playing basketball in the street & 20 blacks put somebody incritical condition in the name of Trayvon. Al Sharpton & Crump are (they are innocent until proven guilty however) the causes.
  • by Anonymous on Apr 23, 2012 at 07:55 PM
    MOBILE, Alabama -- Mobile police need your help to catch a mob that beat Matthew Owens so badly that he's in critical condition. According to police, Owens fussed at some kids playing basketball in the middle of Delmar Drive about 8:30 Saturday night. They say the kids left and a group of adults returned, armed with everything but the kitchen sink. Police tell News 5 the suspects used chairs, pipes and paint cans to beat Owens. Owens' sister, Ashley Parker, saw the attack. "It was the scariest thing I have ever witnessed." Parker says 20 people, all African American, attacked her brother on the front porch of his home, using "brass buckles, paint cans and anything they could get their hands on." Police will only say "multiple people" are involved. What Parker says happened next could make the fallout from the brutal beating even worse. As the attackers walked away, leaving Owen bleeding on the ground, Parker says one of them said "Now thats justice for Trayvon." --- Ok, let's all hold our breath waiting for Eric Holder to investigate this, the national media to be outraged about it, and the general public to threaten to riot across the nation if the criminals aren't arrested, tried, and executed, within the next few days. Not me, I need to breathe regularly.
    • reply
      by Anon on Apr 23, 2012 at 11:52 PM in reply to
      Obviously, this story isn't "real" news.
  • by Jack Location: famu on Apr 23, 2012 at 05:10 PM
    You can't keep an innocent man in jail; And by the way, Who all killed Robert Chapman? Why hasn't there been an arrest ?
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Apr 23, 2012 at 07:12 PM in reply to Jack
      You can't keep a guilty man in jail before trial either. Try to keep up.
      • reply
        by Anonymous on Apr 23, 2012 at 07:59 PM in reply to
        A man who had to defend his life because a thug attacked him and was seen by an eyewitness doing so is never "guilty." Try to keep up Anonymous Apr. 23, 2012 at 10:12 pm.
        • reply
          by Jane on Apr 24, 2012 at 06:03 AM in reply to Anonymous
          Except it wasn't self-defense. It was murder.
        • reply
          by Anonymous on Apr 24, 2012 at 06:28 AM in reply to Anonymous
          My point was that Zimmerman being released has nothing to do with innocence or guilt, he was released on bond.
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