I wanted to say I am sorry for the loss of your son. I did not know how old he was. I thought he was a little bit younger than I am. I did not know if he was armed or not.
— George Zimmerman, the Florida neighborhood watch volunteer who stands accused of second-degree murder in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, apologizing to Martin’s parents, who were in the courtroom during his bail hearing.
(Did Zimmerman make bail? Find out, after the jump.)
Zimmerman’s bail hearing was the first proceeding to take place before a new judge. The case had formerly been assigned to Judge Jessica Recksiedler (a judicial hottie nominee, if we’ve ever seen one), but she was bounced due to a potential conflict of interest.
The new judge assigned to Zimmerman’s case, Judge Kenneth Lester Jr., is known for being “consistent and a tough sentencer” on the bench. The prosecution argued that Zimmerman should be denied bail, or that in the alternative, it should be set at $1 million. This morning’s hearing, however, went well for Zimmerman — his bail was set at $150,000. The New York Times has the details:
In setting bail, the judge, Kenneth R. Lester Jr., said that Mr. Zimmerman could have no contact with Mr. Martin’s family and no access to alcohol or firearms and that his movements would be monitored electronically. Judge Lester also set a curfew that would require Mr. Zimmerman to remain at home from 7 p.m. until 6 a.m. and require him check in with the authorities every three days.
Zimmerman won’t be released from jail today due to several death threats he’s received. Judge Lester presumably wants to make sure that security measures are in place so that other neighborhood watch volunteers don’t get too trigger happy.
Zimmerman’s Bail Set at $150,000 in Martin Shooting [New York Times]
George Zimmerman Tells Trayvon Martin’s Parents ‘I Am Sorry’ [ABC News]
Ken Lester named new judge in George Zimmerman murder case [College Times]