George Zimmerman bond set at $1 million


George Zimmerman seen here after his arrest on April 11, 2012. Zimmerman's arrest follows weeks of anger and debate throughout the country in response to the murder of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman's attorney said his client would plead not guilty and invoke Florida's "stand your ground" law, which gives people wide latitude to use deadly force rather than retreat during a fight.


Sanford Police Department

A Sanford judge ruled today that George Zimmerman can be released from jail while he awaits his trial for killing Trayvon Martin -- but only if he pays a $1 million bond, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

It's not clear when, exactly, Zimmerman will be released. Zimmerman's defense attorney said last week that Zimmerman had $211,000 for his legal defense, which would be enough to cover a 10 percent, initial charge that is usually accepted by bond companies, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

This is the second time that Judge Kenneth Lester has granted bond to Zimmerman, the Associated Press reported. Zimmerman was originally let out of jail on a much lower bond, at $150,000. But Judge Lester revoked it and ordered Zimmerman back to jail after prosecutors said that Zimmerman and his wife lied to the court about their finances. 

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In his latest bond ruling, Judge Lester made it clear that he did not trust Zimmerman. "By any definition, the defendant has flaunted the system," Judge Lester wrote, according to the Orlando Sentinel. "It appears to this court that the defendant is manipulating the system for his own benefit."

Zimmerman was arrested in April and charged with second-degree murder for fatally shooting the unarmed 17-year-old Martin on Feb. 26 in Sanford, Florida. Zimmerman has pleaded not guilty and said he was acting in self-defense under Florida's controversial "stand your ground" law.