SANFORD, Fla. — George Zimmerman was released from the Seminole County Jail about 2:50 p.m. Friday after posting a $1 million bond.
A Florida judge ruled Thursday that Zimmerman couldbe released from jail, saying he set the bail amount significantly higher because Zimmerman may have been hiding money as part of a plot to flee the country.
Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester had revoked Zimmerman’s $150,000 bond last month after prosecutors told the judge Zimmerman and his wife misled the court about how much money they had during an April bond hearing.
Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.
Under normal circumstances, a defendant would have to come up with the entire $1 million in collateral. However, it’s possible Zimmerman’s bondsman allowed the family to put up less than that in property. It’s up to the bondsman and the risk he’s willing to take if Zimmerman were to skip out on the bond. If that were to happen, the bondsman would have to assume financial risk for the difference.
“George Zimmerman and his family do not have anywhere near $1 million for collateral so even if we pay the $100,000 fee, the bail bond company will have to agree to work with us on how the collateral would be posted,” his legal team posted on their website Thursday. “We are encouraged we can work this out. We paid $15,000 initially for the first bail fee so an additional fee of $85,000 would have to be paid to post this new bond assuming we can work out the collateral issue.”
Zimmerman’s legal defense fund has about $211,000, but with $40,000 in payables for defense expenses, not including attorney fees, paying the bond and other expenses would wipe out the existing balance, the website stated.
In the meantime, Martin’s parents are reacting to the fact that their son’s killer could soon be walking the streets.
Benjamin Crump, the attorney for Martin’s parents, spoke about their reaction to the new bond.
“Trayvon’s parents, and I’m here speaking on their behalf, would rather that the killer of their unarmed son remain in jail until the trial,” Crump said.
Crump also said the Martin family respects the court’s order and the fact that the judge sent a very strong message.
Zimmerman will have to follow strict rules. No contact with Martin’s family. No bank account. No passport. No booze. He’ll have to stay in Seminole County, be monitored with a GPS bracelet and must check in every 48 hours.