George Zimmerman walked out of jail on $1 million bond today, a gray suit covering a bullet-proof vest, and flanked by a body guard and an unknown man.
Zimmerman was fitted with an electronic monitoring device before his release and is required to stay in Seminole County.
Don West, one of Zimmerman’s attorneys, described his client’s mood as “buoyant.”
“He’s very happy to be out,” West said. “Certainly it’s been a sobering experience being in that kind of environment.”
According to Reuters, Zimmerman, whose bond restrictions are significantly tighter than when he was first freed on bond in April, was expected to be moved to a temporary safe house secured by his lawyer.
According to conditions of his release, Zimmerman can not open a bank account, obtain a passport or set foot on the grounds of the local airport. He has a 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew.
Florida Circuit Court Judge Kenneth Lester raised Zimmerman’s bond Thursday from $150,000 to $1 million after prosecutors proved that Zimmerman had misled the court about how much money he had raised from supporters and stashed in bank accounts.
Zimmerman’s attorney Mark O’Mara said on Thursday that Zimmerman and his family could not post the $1 million bond, which typically would require a deposit of 10 percent cash and the rest secured by collateral if requested.
“George Zimmerman and his family do not have anywhere near $1,000,000 for collateral,” O’Mara said in a statement. “So even if we pay the $100,000 fee, the bail bond company will have to agree to work with us on how the collateral would be posted.”
MSN BC writes that Zimmerman’s parents put up their house as collateral.
Shawn Vincent, who manages the website for O’Mara, said on Friday that the largest donation overnight was $1,000, and that most contributions ranged between $10 and $25.
Since May 3, when defence attorney O’Mara took control of Zimmerman’s defence fund-raising, donations have averaged $500 to $1,000 per day, he said, according to The Telegraph.
George Zimmerman is charged in the February 26 shooting death of 17-year-old unarmed Trayvon Martin in a gated community in the central Florida city of Sanford.
Martin’s killing drew national attention because police initially declined to arrest Zimmerman, citing Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” self-defence law and Zimmerman’s claim that he used deadly force because he believed his life was being threatened by Martin.
Zimmerman was later arrested on second-degree murder charges, which carry a penalty of 25 years to life in prison.
Trayvon Martin’s parents, Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, told reporters they believed Zimmerman deserves to be in jail but respected the judge’s decision.
“Trayvon was my baby and I usually get emotional just thinking about the situation, just to know that the killer of my son may walk free someday,” Fulton said. “It just really hurts.”
Shellie Zimmerman, his wife, has been charged with perjury for allegedly working with her husband to hide from the judge at least $135,000 that was raised by Zimmerman through a personal website and PayPal account, prior to his arrest.