Zimmerman posts bond, gets out of jail
By the CNN Wire Staff
(CNN) — George Zimmerman was released from jail on Friday.
A judge had set bail at $1 million with new restrictions on Zimmerman, saying he believed the suspect may have been planning to flee the country to avoid prosecution in the killing of Florida teen Trayvon Martin.
Zimmerman had to post 10% of the $1 million — or $100,000 — to meet the requirement for release.
An initial bail of $150,000 was revoked last month after Judge Kenneth R. Lester Jr. learned that Zimmerman and his wife, Shellie, had failed to disclose more than $150,000 in donations from the public.
The judge’s order Thursday said that the new $1 million bail was not a punishment but an amount that assured the court that Zimmerman would not abscond.
In his ruling, Lester wrote about the first bond hearing and noted an undisclosed second passport kept in Zimmerman’s safe deposit box.
“Notably, together with the passport, the money only had to be hidden for a short time for him to leave the country if the defendant made a quick decision to flee,” the judge said. “It is entirely reasonable for this court to find that, but for the requirement that he be placed on electronic monitoring, the defendant and his wife would have fled the United States with at least $130,000 of other people’s money.”
Lester wrote the defendant’s plans to flee were “thwarted.”
Zimmerman, 28, is charged with second-degree murder in Martin’s February 26 shooting death. Under Florida law, second-degree murder is a bondable offense.
CNN’s John Couwels contributed to this report.
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