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article imageFlorida judge sets new Zimmerman bail at $1 million

By Yukio Strachan     Jul 5, 2012 in Crime
Sanford - A Florida judge on Thursday ordered George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer, who fatally shot unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin released on $1 million bail.
Defense attorney Mark O'Mara said Friday Zimmerman's legal defense fund had a balance of $211,000, UPI reported. That would be more than enough to pay the 10 percent non-refundable amount of bail charged by most bonding companies.
It remained unclear how long it would take for Zimmerman to be released, the Orlando Sentinel said.
Seminole County Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester Jr. also ordered Zimmerman to wear a satellite monitoring device and put him on a 6 p.m.-6 a.m. curfew, the Sentinel reported.
Zimmerman had been free on $150,000 bond for five weeks after the crime watch volunteer's Feb. 26 killing of Martin, who was unarmed.
But Lester revoked Zimmerman's bond last month ordering back to jail, after prosecutors told the judge a website Zimmerman, 28,created for his legal defense had raised $135,000 at the time of his first bond hearing.
Zimmerman and his wife did not mention the money then, and Shellie Zimmerman even said the couple had limited resources because she was a student and he wasn't working.
But bank records later told a different story. In fact, records revealed money was flowing in from a Web site to support Zimmerman at a rate of $1,000 a day.
Prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda asked for bond to be denied, or else for it to be set at $1 million, saying he had killed an innocent teen and worked with his wife to transfer money between accounts and hide it.
But O'Mara argued Zimmerman was not dangerous or a flight risk and said he has a strong self-defense case.
Even though the judge found that Zimmerman had manipulated the system, he ruled this was not enough to hold him without bail, CNN states..
"This court has, thus far, declined to exercise its contempt powers and the state failed to prove that the defendant be held without bond," the order stated.
"Under any definition, the defendant has flaunted the system," the order says. "The defendant has tried to manipulate the system when he has been presented the opportunity to do so."
Zimmerman acknowledged fatally shooting Martin in February after he had called police and reported Trayvon as a suspicious person. He said the unarmed teen punched him, knocked him to the ground and began banging his head into a sidewalk. That's when he said he shot Martin because he feared his life.
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