Last Updated:November 24 @ 07:25 pm

George Zimmerman leaves Fla. jail on $1M bond

By Mike Schneider

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - Neighborhood watch leader George Zimmerman was released from jail Friday for a second time while he awaits his second-degree murder trial for fatally shooting Trayvon Martin.

Zimmerman left the Seminole County Jail a day after Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester granted a $1 million bail with strict conditions.

The neighborhood watch leader is required to stay in Seminole County. He was allowed to leave Florida after his first release in April. He must be electronically monitored, can't open a bank account, obtain a passport or set foot on the grounds of the local airport. He has a 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew.

"He's very happy to be out," said Don West, one of Zimmerman's attorneys. "Certainly it's been a sobering experience being in that kind of environment."

Zimmerman had been released on a $150,000 bond in April, but the judge revoked it last month after prosecutors presented evidence that he and his wife misled the court about how much money they had available to pay for the bond. They didn't tell the judge that donations from a website for Zimmerman's legal defense had raised around $135,000 at the time of his first bond hearing.

Prosecutors argued Zimmerman and his wife talked in code during recorded jailhouse conversations about how to transfer the donations to different bank accounts. For example, George Zimmerman at one point asked how much money they had. She replied "$155." Prosecutors allege that was code for $155,000. Their reference to "Peter Pan" was code for the PayPal system through which the donations were made, prosecutors said.

Shellie Zimmerman faces arraignment at the end of the month on a perjury charge; she was freed on bond.

During Zimmerman's second bond hearing, his attorney, Mark O'Mara, said that his client was confused, fearful and experienced a moment of weakness when he and his wife misled the court.

The judge didn't buy it and expressed his unhappiness with Zimmerman and his wife in his second bond order. He accused Zimmerman of making plans to flee to avoid prosecution, misleading O'Mara by not disclosing the money from the website and trying to manipulate the judicial system.

"Under any definition, the defendant has flaunted the system," Lester wrote.

But the judge said current law limited his ability to deny a second application for bond.

Zimmerman has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder and claims the shooting was self-defense under the state's "stand your ground" law. Zimmerman and Martin got into a fight last February inside a gated community in Sanford, Fla. Zimmerman was the neighborhood watch leader for the community and Martin was visiting his father's fiance, who lived there.

The "stand your ground" law allows individuals to use deadly force provided they are doing nothing illegal and relieves them of a duty to retreat if they believe their lives are in jeopardy. The law allows defendants to make their self-defense case at a hearing presided over by a judge and without the use of a jury. If the judge deems self-defense was justified, the case can be dismissed without going to trial.

The 44 days between the shooting and Zimmerman's arrest inspired nationwide protests, led to the departure of the Sanford, Fla. police chief and prompted a U.S. Justice Department probe.

Martin's parents and supporters claim that the unarmed teenager was targeted because he was black and that Zimmerman started the confrontation that led to the shooting. Zimmerman's father is white and his mother is Hispanic.

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  1. cynicalobserverComment by cynicalobserver
    July 6, 2012 @ 7:12 pm

    In case you haven’t figured it out yet, the news media runs the Florida system of Justice.

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    • pammeechsComment by pammeechs
      July 8, 2012 @ 4:25 pm

      The media also runs the U.S. Department of Justice or Injustice.

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  2. teapartyproudComment by teapartyproud
    July 6, 2012 @ 8:14 pm

    Zimmerman had better choose to go the jury route or ask for a change of venue, because this particular judge seems determined to hang him.

    Even at that, I’m not sure he can get a fair trial, as the powers that be have decided that Zimmerman must be made an example of to show that stand your ground laws will not be tolerated. They really don’t want people to be able to actually defend themselves against physical attacks by the thug element.

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  3. litebulbComment by litebulb
    July 6, 2012 @ 10:26 pm

    Exactly; Thanks to the likes of Al Sharpton and other leftwing troublemakers, jumping to racebaiting conclusions, and the manipulating media…A change of venue is warranted. And they can’t wait to destroy the right to bear arms…

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  4. CharlieComment by vietnamvet
    July 7, 2012 @ 10:31 am

    It is disheartening to see the ignorance of the media in their constant referral to the ‘stand your ground law’.

    Zimmerman was attacked and knocked to the ground before he knew a fight was in progress. He was unable to leave the scene. He never made a choice to ‘stand his ground’.

    Zimmerman, under life threatening attack by Martin, killed his attacker in simple ‘self defense’.

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  5. oldguy39Comment by oldguy39
    July 7, 2012 @ 10:32 am

    If Trayvon had succeeded in beating Zimmerman’s brains out, he probably would have been released to the custody of his parents.

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    • nancyjComment by nancyj
      July 7, 2012 @ 11:36 am

      You sure have that right!

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    • lwessonComment by lwesson
      July 7, 2012 @ 12:01 pm

      Had Zimmerman shot and killed a White Skin Head assailant in the same circumstances, one, we might never have heard anything of it, as minority killings, beatings, rapes of Whites seldom get outside the local news, and then quickly vanish at that.

      But wait! This might be the exception. Zimmerman might be hailed as a minority hero, a brave Peruvian Hispanic, defending himself against a White, I mean racist, same difference. Zimmerman would not be called a White Hispanic as the news media created. NY Times.

      Parades? A hero’s visit to the White House for a beer? No doubt, Jessie Jackson, and Sharpton would show up to catch some warm, refreshing hero rays. School lunch boxes with Zimmerman’s image? Perhaps a postage stamp? Peruvian currency with George’s face? Late Night with David Letterman, with a Top Ten List of who you can kill?

      NO, George Zimmerman, killed in his self defense, the wrong kind of human. He should be more mindful as to who is appropriate, who is “in season”.

      Now, George, his Wife, his Family, live under National death threats, the power of the media, the State, all to convict regardless of the facts. Welcome George, to going through the Twilight Zone doors of Late America.

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    • 77fordComment by 77ford
      July 7, 2012 @ 5:02 pm

      Probably would not have been charged. One thing I want to know is what right did they have listen in a phone call between a man and his wife because he has been charged does not take away his rights you don,t lose them until you have been convicted I think they violated his and her rights by doing that and should be taken to court and that judge needs to be disbarred an lose his license this man can never get a fair trial because of the nationwide trial the media has done also how come the media does not show up to date photo of Trayvon

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  6. snowwhiteComment by snowwhite
    July 7, 2012 @ 10:59 am

    Since when does the state have the right to confiscate the money donated to the defense fund of a man many believe is being legally lynched by a politically correct obsessed judicial system and state officials under pressure from politically motivated agitators with an agenda. The prupose of this increased bond, and the prosecution of Zimmerman and his wife, is nothing less than legal lynching. The mistake the Zimmerman’s made was in not designating that donations be made to a defense fund and not to them directly. Since i doubt they have had experience with this type of persecution,that mistake is understandable. But that doesn’t give the state the right to confiscate donations made for Zimmerman’s legal defense. Same on you Florida. You have sold your soul to placate criticism from professional malcontents.

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    • nancyjComment by nancyj
      July 7, 2012 @ 11:37 am

      Exactly right. They have never said if the monies started coming in after (AFTER) the judge placed bail the first time, did they?

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  7. usanaturalbornComment by usanaturalborn
    July 7, 2012 @ 11:21 am

    This is not rocket science folks. The States Motion to Revoke ¶18: “The Court is already aware from Mr. O’Mara’s 5/18/2012 letter and documents, that Defendant
    family had access to over $135,000 in cash. The State obtained Defendant and ShellyZimmerman’s Credit Union records for April 2012 (copies attached) and agrees with Defense Counsel about the amount of money available in those accounts (money was also transferred to other accounts) at that time. The Credit Union statements show on 4/19/2012, the day before the Bond Hearing, Defendant and his wife had access to over $135,000.00. ” Nifong Jr. intentionally deceives the court in the aforementioned paragraph by constructing it to imply credit union records were obtained from MOM, THEY WERE NOT! I believe the credit union records were obtained by one of Nifong Jr.’s henchmen, err I mean investigator: TC O’Steen.

    TC O’Stinky states in his Affidavit of Probable Cause for Perjury @ page 5 ¶ 3.: “On June 6, 2012, your Affiant met with an assistant branch manager of Insight
    Credit Union. The assistant branch manager explained that she met with Shellie
    Zimmerman, who she knew as a customer, on April16, 2012 at the Insight Credit Union
    branch located in Seminole County, Florida. During that meeting, the assistant branch
    manager assisted Shellie Zimmerman in transferring control of George Zimmerman’s
    account to Shellie Zimmerman. During a portion of the meeting, Shellie Zimmerman had George Zimmerman on the telephone, and the assistant branch manager spoke directly to him about the transfer.” That is another intentional deception, but it could pass as gross investigative incompetence and with perjury as the alternative O’Stinky can live with that as long as the end befits the means, but I digress. Why would O’Stinky meet with a no name ‘assistant branch manager’ to have explained to him information that he had at least 5 days earlier: Motion to Revoke ¶ 17.§c. “4/16/12 @1334 (call# 18577118) at approximately one-minute and forty seconds into the call the following conversation took place regarding Defendant’s financial circumstances while Shelly Zimmerman is at the Credit Union: Shelly Zimmerman: Can I put you on speaker phone. Not going to say any personal information since it’s recorded.” It’s adds confusion to distract attention from the crime being perpetrated by these two reprobates

    Nifong Jr. and O’Stinky did NOT obtain the credit union records talked about in Shelly’s Affidavit for Probable Cause and attached to the States Motion to Revoke from MOM or by way of a search warrant and if O’Stinky used his badge as leverage on the no name ‘assistant branch manager’. Then according to Florida’s Constitution and the 4th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America those records are inadmissible evidence and without them Nifong Jr. has no supporting facts for her Motion to Revoke or her Perjury charge against Shelly!

    §12. of the Florida Constitution: “Searches and seizures.—The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures, and against the unreasonable interception of private communications by any means, shall not be violated. No warrant shall be issued except upon probable cause, supported by affidavit, particularly describing the place or places to be searched, the person or persons, thing or things to be seized, the communication to be intercepted, and the nature of evidence to be obtained. This right shall be construed in conformity with the 4th Amendment to the United States Constitution, as interpreted by the United States Supreme Court. Articles or information obtained in violation of this right shall not be admissible in evidence if such articles or information would be inadmissible under decisions of the United States Supreme Court construing the 4th Amendment to the United States Constitution.”
    §23. Right of privacy.—Every natural person has the right to be let alone and free from governmental intrusion into the person’s private life except as otherwise provided herein. This section shall not be construed to limit the public’s right of access to public records and meetings as provided by law.

    The Zimmerman’s code they used whilest on the jailhouse phone don’t seem so stupid if it were the only evidence the State has . . . does it?

    Therefore unless I’m wrong and MOM handed over the credit union records to Nifong Jr. and Co. Judge “Choo Choo” Lester should be ruling on a Motion to Strike or a Motion to Suppress or Motion to set aside Judgement or sumpin’ . Come on MOM do something for the Zimm’s or get the hell out of the Way. . . IMHO . . . Len

    “If a law is unjust, a man is not only right to disobey it, he is obligated to do so.”
    - Thomas Jefferson

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    • MichaellabordeComment by Michaellaborde
      July 7, 2012 @ 3:25 pm

      None of what you said changes the fact that Zimmerman isn’t going to get a fair trial and that this is a lynching by the media and by black racist agitators.

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  8. vComment by v
    July 7, 2012 @ 12:44 pm

    The only reason this man is being tried is because the punk was black and we all know it??
    If Martin had finished beating him to death Sharpton & Jackson would have still been defending him…..and all the others that always back a person because of their skin!
    Justice is supposed to be blind unless you are a minority and then you get a free pass!

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  9. tomadsComment by tomads
    July 7, 2012 @ 1:29 pm

    Why does a person have to post a huge bail amount to force his appearance in court? This isn’t the frontier days when people could disappear for a lifetime.

    The bails bondsmen I have known were great contributors to the political system…

    In this particular case the judge has ignore blood threats on Zimmermann’s life, lies in the media, doctored evidence, etc., but he worries about whether Zimmerman will show up?

    An Instant Letter Of Resignation Moment…

    We should not have to take Judge Lester seriously…

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  10. AL PUIGComment by atracted
    July 7, 2012 @ 5:08 pm

    Circuit law limited the ability of the Judge to deny a second application for bond. Therefore, Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester imposed a $1 million (!) bail with strict conditions, on Zimmerman, whereby he was able to leave the Seminole County Jail a day after. It was very obvious, that Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin in self-defense, when he realized that Martin was determined to kill him, and he would have accomplished doing it, if Zimmerman would not have had a gun to stop Martin and save his life.

    It also seems very obvious, that Judge Kenneth Lester is a racist, who was determined to punish Zimmerman extremely hard, by imposing an excesive $1 million bail with strict conditions, when there was no reason to believe that Zimmerman would try to escape. Compare Judge Kenneth Lester’s bail of $1 million on Zimmerman, with the bond imposed for just $31,000, on a man like David Alan Barker, 29, of Seffner, who was arrested Thursday, July 5th and charged with among other things, fleeing and eluding, resisting an officer without violence, grand theft auto, burglary and criminal mischief! Now, do you understand why Judge Lester obviously acted in a racist fashion against Zimmerman?

    In due time a Jury will exonerate Zimmerman of all charges and he will be able to remain a FREE MAN.

    Final comment: you may rest assured that if Zimmerman would have shot a WHITE teenager, in self-defense, to save his life, none of all these allegations against Zimmerman would have taken place. It seems pretty obvious, that on equal circumstances, the life of a black person is much more valuable than the life of a white individual. WHY is it so?

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