Update: A judge has granted bail for George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer charged with killing Florida teenager Trayvon Martin, but would not allow his release Friday, citing further discussions needed about the terms, including whether or not he would be allowed out of state.
Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester also said that Zimmerman must not have any contact with the victim's family; must wear an ankle monitoring bracelet; and adhere to a 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew. The judge's order also states that Zimmerman cannot be in possession of firearms; and must not consume alcohol or controlled substances.
Taking the stand during the hearing at the Seminole County Criminal Justice Center, Zimmerman addressed the parents of Martin, who were seated in court: "I wanted to say that I am sorry for the loss of your son.
"I did not know how old he was," he said. "I thought he was a little bit younger than I am. And I did not know whether he was armed or not."
Zimmerman said he had made a similar statement to police. "I was told not to communicate with them," he said. "I did ask [my attorneys] to express that to them."
Zimmerman, 28, has been behind bars since his arrest nine days ago, charged with second-degree murder in the shooting death of the unarmed 17-year-old.
His attorney, Mark O'Mara, asked the judge to let him out of jail while he awaits trial. His attorney also asked the judge to allow Zimmerman to leave the state while wearing a GPS bracelet, and to keep his location confidential in order to help secure his safety.
Zimmerman has claimed self-defense in the deadly Feb. 26 encounter. Martin's parents, Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton, believe their son was murdered in cold blood.
Judge Lester was assigned the case Wednesday after a previous judge recused herself because of a potential conflict of interest.
Martin's parents were in the courtroom today, coming face-to-face with their son's killer for the first time.
Zimmerman surrendered his passport, according to his attorney.
State prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda, arguing against bond, said Zimmerman showed "a lack of adhering to authority," but also suggested not releasing Zimmerman was also for his own good. "Will he be a threat [to the community]? Quite frankly, some people will want to get to him."
Testifying by phone link, Shellie Zimmerman said she did not believe her husband would be a threat to the community if he were released. "No concern whatsoever," she said.
When asked by a prosecuting attorney, she said she was informed of the charges against him in the past of striking a police officer but said she did not agree that he has a history of violence.
She did express concern about his safety, and said if released the location where he stays would have to remain confidential.
Also testifying by phone, George's father, retired magistrate Robert Zimmerman Sr., said he saw scars on his son's head after the confrontation.
Zimmerman Sr. said his son has always been interested in criminal justice. He said George Zimmerman "has been honest his whole life," and told him that some time in his life he'd like to become a magistrate or a judge.
His mother, Gladys Zimmerman, said that in 2010 he found out a homeless person had been beaten and sought justice for him.
"That was George, that was my son," she said. "He's very protective of people, very protective of homeless people, and also of children."
Dale Gilbreith, an investigator working with the State Attorney's Office, was questioned about whether Zimmerman "continued to follow" Martin after being instructed by the dispatcher not to, as written in the probable cause affidavit.
"He was told not to follow him, he continued on for a period of time - I would say less than a minute before he hung up, which is prior to the encounter between the two," Gilbreith said.
Gilbreath was asked what further evidence he had about a confrontation apart from the phone call and witnesses' statements: "We have Mr. Zimmerman's statement, we have the shell casing, and we have the body," he said.
When asked by the prosecuting attorney whether there was any evidence that suggests Zimmerman's original statement to police was not true, Gilbreith replied, "Yes."
Sanford, Florida - A judge will decideFriday if George Zimmerman will be granted bond ata 9:00 a.m.hearing.
After his first appearance in court about a week ago, his attorney didn't ask for bond out of concern for Zimmerman's safety. Safety is still a concern.
Special prosecutor Angela Corey must show why bond should not be set or that it should be set high. There is also a possiblity evidence could be heard during the hearing.
The court could deny bond if it thinks Zimmerman could harm himself or others or if the court thinks he may leave the country to avoid prosecution.
Zimmerman's parents are expected to testify by phone during the hearing.
This hearing comes after Seminole Circuit Judge Jessica Recksiedler recused herself upon request from Zimmerman's attorney Mark O'Mara.
Zimmerman is charged with second degree murder in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman admits to shooting Martin in self defense.
Martin's family is also preparing for the bond hearing . The family attorney, Benjamin Crump, talked to 10 News about Zimmerman's request to talk with the family.
"A request for this private meeting with the family seems to be very self serving because he waits 50 days later, the day before his bond hearing to say, I want to apologize, it's one of those things, he could have used a lot of different vehicles his website to apologize, he left voicemails with friends, expressed something to the police, but none of that. It's not until the day before his bond hearing that I want to meet and say I apologize, so the public will have to decide what the motive is."
Crump says the family is not ready to meet with Zimmerman just yet.
Some analysts say there is a good chance he could receive bond because he turned himself in about a week ago and he has never been convicted of a crime.
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