George Zimmerman, accused in the murder of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, has been granted bail by a Florida judge.
Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester set Zimmerman's bond at $150,000. Lester said the prisoner would be released pending deliberations.
During the hearing Zimmerman made a statement, speaking to Martin’s parents, who were in court.
He said, “I wanted to say that I am sorry for the loss of your son…I thought he was a little bit younger than I am. I did not know whether he was armed or not."
Assistant prosecutor Bernie De La Rionda requested as that bail not be grand or require a bond of $1 million. She argued that the defendant has a violent past and was a threat to the public.
De La Rionda said “Our position is that he will still be a danger to the community."
Zimmerman’s attorney, Mark O’Mara, asked for a bail of just $15,000 and requested and the defendant be allowed to leave the states while on bond.
O’Mara gilled the state’s lead investigator during the hearing. According to the Huffington Post he asked “who threw the first blow”.
O'Mara used the bail hearing to grill the state's lead investigator, Dale Gilbreath, on the case over the evidence supporting a probable cause affidavit used to charge Zimmerman with second-degree murder.
The investigator also confirmed that Zimmerman had two lacerations on the back of his head.
Gilbreath also said Zimmerman contradicted himself during his interview with the policed. He provided statements inconsistent with physical evidence and witness recollections.
But Gilbreath also described previously undisclosed evidence the state plans to present at Zimmerman's trial, while under questioning from Rionda, the assistant prosecutor.
The accused mother, father and wife testified by phone describing him as a non-violent man who was not a threat.
Robert Zimmerman, his father "I've never known him to be violent at all, unless he was provoked, and then he would turn the other cheek."
Benjamin Crump, an attorney for Martin's family, told The Huffington Post that Zimmerman's in-court apology was too little too late.
He said "They feel it was just so self-serving, that it was one of those things that was not sincere. We can only guess that his motive was to get sympathy. It's 50 days later at his bond hearing, and for the first time he's saying, 'I'm sorry for killing Trayvon.'"
"The family is devastated that the killer gets to get out of jail," Crump said. "They hope it's temporary, especially knowing that the damage that he caused them is permanent."
"Every accused person in America gets the right to have a bond hearing," Crump added. "The judge listened to both sides and we just have to live with it."
No date has been set for Zimmerman's trial.
Here’s the raw footage of Zimmerman apologizing for the death of Trayvon Martin:
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