Zimmerman apologizes, judge grants bond - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Zimmerman apologizes, judge grants bond

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In a surprise move, George Zimmerman apologized to the family of Trayvon Martin. (Source: CNN) In a surprise move, George Zimmerman apologized to the family of Trayvon Martin. (Source: CNN)
Judge Kenneth Lester Jr. set bond at $150,000. (Source: CNN) Judge Kenneth Lester Jr. set bond at $150,000. (Source: CNN)
Trayvon Martin had been walking through the rain, dressed in a hoodie, when George Zimmerman called emergency operators to report him as suspicious. (Source: Jerome Horton/CNN) Trayvon Martin had been walking through the rain, dressed in a hoodie, when George Zimmerman called emergency operators to report him as suspicious. (Source: Jerome Horton/CNN)

(RNN) - Judge Kenneth Lester Jr. granted a $150,000 bond with restrictions for George Zimmerman, who moments before apologized for the death of Trayvon Martin.

"I wanted to say I am sorry for the loss of your son," Zimmerman said to the Martin family. "I did not know how old he was. I thought he was a little bit younger than I am, and I did not know if he was armed or not."

The surprising move came after his wife and mother testified in his defense. Zimmerman is the neighborhood watch captain who has admitted to shooting the 17-year-old Martin on Feb. 26. He has been charged with second-degree murder.

The restrictions to Zimmerman's bond include GPS monitoring, no possession of weapons, no alcohol or controlled substance consumption and no contact with the victim's family.

Zimmerman also cannot work in public and will have to observe a curfew. He will have to report his whereabouts to the sheriff and monitoring supervisor every three days.

During the hearing, the prosecution had asked the judge that Zimmerman receive no bond or $1 million bond.

Zimmerman will not be released today, but will await trial outside of jail.

"He is absolutely not a violent person," his wife, Shellie Zimmerman, said when asked about her husband's tendencies.

Gladys Zimmerman, his mother, testified that her son was protective of vulnerable people, including the homeless and children. She also said that he was involved in a mentoring program in Orlando and that some of the children were black.

Dave Gilbreath, an investigator with the state attorney's office, said injuries that Zimmerman claimed he suffered in the altercation before the shooting did not agree with evidence they found.

"His injures are consistent with trauma to the back of his head," Gilbreath said. "He mentioned that his head was being physically bashed against the concrete sidewalk, and this was just prior to him firing the shot. That is not consistent to the evidence that we found."

Three hours before the hearing, Good Morning America aired photos of what is reported to be  the back of Zimmerman's bloody and gashed head shortly after the fight and shooting of Martin.

If convicted, Zimmerman could be sentenced to life in prison. He claims he shot the teen in self-defense.

Zimmerman went into hiding after nationwide outrage sparked heated discussions of race and debate over Stand Your Ground laws. Several protests were held across the country.

On April 11, Zimmerman surrendered to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement after first being dropped by his lawyers.

O'Mara said Zimmerman's constant contact with law enforcement before he turned himself in and the fact that he is an established resident in his neighborhood made him less of a flight risk.

O'Mara surrendered Zimmerman's passport before testimony in the hearing began.

An affidavit filed with the court stated Zimmerman shot Martin in his gated Sanford community while the boy was returning to his father's fiancee's house after stopping at a nearby 7-Eleven.

Zimmerman called emergency operators to report a suspicious person. When the operator realized Zimmerman was following the teen, he told him to stop.

O'Mara questioned Gilbreath about some of the language in the affidavit, pointing out that the only two quotes from Zimmerman in the document contained expletives.

He also asked Gilbreath about the use of the words "profiled" and "confronted" to describe how Zimmerman approached Martin before the shooting.

Assistant State Attorney Bernie De La Rionda argued that the word "profiled" was used because Zimmerman had no valid reason to believe Martin posed a threat.

Copyright 2012 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.

Trayvon Martin (SIDEBAR)

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SLIDESHOW: Outrage over Trayvon Martin case Trayvon Martin, 17, was shot and killed last month by George Zimmerman, self-appointed captain of an unofficial neighborhood watch, while walking to his father's.

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