UPDATE: George Zimmerman leaves jail after making $1 million bail

George Zimmerman (C) appears, along with his attorney Mark O'Mara (L), in front of Circuit Judge Kenneth R. Lester for a bond hearing.
Reuters

UPDATE: Former neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman, who is charged with second-degree murder in the killing of unarmed black teenager Travyon Martin, was released on Friday from a Florida county jail on $1 million bail, CNN said.

Zimmerman walked out of the John E. Polk Correctional Facility in Sanford, Florida, and is expected to be moved to a temporary safe house secured by his lawyer.

George Zimmerman’s legal defense fund raised $20,000 in the 24 hours after a judge set bond at $1 million for the former neighborhood watch volunteer who shot and killed the unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin, Zimmerman’s official website said on Friday.

The figure is about 22 times the daily rate of donations for the previous two months, according to a statement on the website, which said the defense fund had collected $55,000 over the past two months.

Zimmerman, who had been free on a $150,000 bond, was sent back to jail in June after prosecutors alleged he misled the court about his finances and failed to surrender a valid passport.

Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester said Thursday in his new bond order that he believed Zimmerman and his wife Shellie intended to flee the country but were thwarted by the judge’s requirement that Zimmerman wear an electronic monitoring device.

Defense attorney, Mark O’Mara, said Thursday that Zimmerman and his family could not post the higher bond, which typically would require a deposit of 10 percent cash and the rest secured by collateral, without donations from supporters.

Shawn Vincent, who manages the website for O’Mara, told Reuters the largest donation overnight was $1,000, and that most contributions ranged between $10 and $25.

Since May 3, when O’Mara took control of Zimmerman’s defense fundraising, donations have averaged $500 to $1,000 per day, he said.

In granting bond, Lester imposed numerous restrictions. He said that if released from jail again, Zimmerman must submit to electronic monitoring, remain in Seminole County, stay away from the Orlando-Sanford International Airport, refrain from applying for a passport or holding a bank account, avoid alcohol and obey a curfew from 6:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.

The defense website said Zimmerman’s security team had established a temporary safe house for him to go to upon his release from jail, but that a permanent location was still being sought.

Zimmerman is charged with second-degree manslaughter in the February 26 shooting death of 17-year-old Martin in a gated community in the central Florida city of Sanford.

Martin’s killing drew national attention because police initially declined to arrest Zimmerman. They cited Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” self-defense law and Zimmerman’s claim that he used deadly force because he believed his life was being threatened by Martin.

Zimmerman, 28, was later arrested on second-degree murder charges, which carry a penalty of 25 years to life in prison.

Shellie Zimmerman has been charged with perjury for allegedly working with her husband to hide from the judge at least $135,000 that was raised by Zimmerman, through a personal website and Paypal account, prior to his arrest.


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