George Zimmerman apologizes to Trayvon Martin's parents, granted $150,000 bail
Though George Zimmerman, the Latino man who shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, was recently charged for second-degree murder, the case is still far from over. This morning, Zimmerman appeared in a Florida court for a bond hearing, which prohibited his release today but did grant the 28-year-old $150,000 bail. One factor that could have swayed the judge make this decision? The way Zimmerman surprised everybody by taking the stand and apologizing to Martin's parents, who were sitting in the courtroom during the hearing.
"I am sorry for the loss of your son. I did not know how old he was. I thought he was a little bit older than I was," Zimmerman said to Martin's family. Though prosecution in defense of Martin were asking for Zimmerman to either be denied bail or be forced to fork over $1 million in bail money to leave, the judge ultimately decided on a less harsh ruling.
Besides the bail amount, Zimmerman cannot contact the Martin family, cannot consume alcohol or other substances, must wear an ankle monitoring bracelet, and has to adhere to a 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew. He is also forbidden from any possession of firearms.
But despite the apology, Martin's parents were still extremely upset, weeping at the news of the bond. "It was devastating that [Zimmerman] got to give a self-serving apology to help get him a bond," the family's attorney Benjamin Crump said. "Why is everybody protecting George Zimmerman?"
Read more ¿Qué más?: What happens next in the Trayvon Martin case?
Now that he has actually been formally charged, I personally feel pretty neutral as to whether or not he remains in custody, although I'm kind of shocked the bail was so low. $150,000 is pocket change compared to the original $1 million asking price!
Still, until the trial starts (which could be in anywhere from 6 months to a year, according to Zimmerman's lawyer), he can't flee (he was forced to surrender his passport) and after months of waiting to see authorities do SOMETHING to penalize Zimmerman, I, like many others, am still just so relieved that there are charges to begin with.
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If his family does come up with the money, his legal attorney says he has a number of safe houses already prepared, although legal officials have not yet determined if he will be allowed to leave the state.
Either way, I truly feel for Martin's parents -- though the charges must have granted them some comfort, there's still a long way to go before the death of their son is even close to being brought to justice.
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