A Florida judge set George Zimmerman's bail at $150,000 Friday afternoon, about a week after he was charged with second-degree murder in the shooting of Trayvon Martin. According to a CNN article, Zimmerman could be released from jail with a $15,000 payment from his family. That would come out to 10% of the total bond, which is what is usually required to secure bond.
Moments before the judge's ruling, Zimmerman took the stand to speak out publicly on the case for the first time since the shooting occurred. He took the opportunity to apologize to Martin's family.
"I wanted to say I am sorry for the loss of your son," Zimmerman said, dressed in a suit and tie with chains wrapped around his waist. "I thought he was a little bit younger than I was, and I did not know if he was armed or not." After the hearing, attorneys for Martin's family downplayed the apology, calling it "self-serving" for someone facing a possible life sentence. (New York Times)
"This was the most disingenuous, insulting thing I've ever seen," said Natalie Jackson, representing the Martin family. Zimmerman's attorney, Mark O'Mara, said he had asked for an opportunity for Zimmerman to apologize to the family privately, but was denied that request. However, he insisted the apology was sincere, and not meant to frame Zimmerman in a good light.
"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.
Before the judge's ruling, prosecutors requested that Zimmerman grant a $1,000,000 at a mininum, if he was granted one at all. Zimmerman's attornies argued for a $15,000 bond, citing his family's lack of financial assistance. (NBC News) After the hearing, Benjamin Crump, an attorney representing the Martin family, said the family was "completely devastated" that the judge had decided to grant Zimmerman bail. For the judge's complete ruling, see the video below courtesy of CNN.
Photo Courtesy of Brian Turner via Flickr