George Zimmerman, the shooter of Trayvon Martin, apologized to Trayvon's family Friday during his bond hearing. Shackled and wearing a suit, Zimmerman took the stand and told Trayvon's family that he is "sorry for the loss of your son."
"I wanted to say I am sorry for the loss of your son. I did not know how old he was. I thought he was a little bit younger than I am. I did not know if he was armed or not," Zimmerman said. Trayvon was 17-years-old and Zimmerman is 28. Trayvon's parents, Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, were in the courtroom for the hearing.
Shortly after, the judge set bail at $150,000, lower than the prosecution's request of $1 million. The judge imposed electronic monitoring and other restrictions on Zimmerman.
"Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester set several conditions Friday for Zimmerman's release, which he said would not occur Friday, but he did not say when exactly Zimmerman could go free. Zimmerman's attorney, Mark O'Mara, also wants his client to be allowed to live in another state because of threats made against him, and wear a GPS monitor to track his whereabouts."
Earlier during the hearing, Zimmerman's family testified by telephone on his behalf, including his father and his wife of almost five years. Shellie Zimmerman said her husband is not a violent person, but during questioning, prosecutors brought up two incidents that supported their argument that he has a violent nature. According to prosecutors, Zimmerman had to take anger management classes after an undercover officer said Zimmerman attacked him, and a former girlfriend accused Zimmerman of assault.
Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder in the shooting death of the unarmed teen following a confrontation in Sanford, Florida, on Feb. 26. Trayvon was walking home from a store carrying Skittles candy and iced tea when Zimmerman saw him and called police to report a suspicious person. According to the 911 call, police told Zimmerman they would handle the situation. Shortly after, Trayvon was dead. Zimmerman has claimed self-defense, citing Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law, which allows the use of deadly force if a person believes their life to be in danger.
Zimmerman's first formal arraignment hearing will be May 29. Angela Corey, a tough victim's advocate, will prosecute the case. Judge Kenneth M. Lester Jr. was assigned the case earlier this week after the original judge recused herself because of a possible conflict of interest.
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(Photo: ABC7 News)
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