$150,000 bail for Zimmerman set in Martin Shooting

by Nickalas Tabbert

A Florida judge on Friday set George Zimmerman's bail at $150,000 in the shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.

The judge also imposed restrictions on Zimmerman's release from jail, the New York Times said.

Zimmerman offered an apology to the victim's parents, who were in the courtroom.

"I wanted to say I am sorry for the loss of your son.  I did not know how old he was," Zimmerman said in his first public remarks since the Feb. 26 shooting.  "I thought he was a little bit younger than I am.  I did not know if he was armed or not."

Martin's parents, Tracy Martin and Sybrina Ö Fulton, showed no emotion during Zimmerman’s remarks, the Times said. They left shortly before the hearing ended.

In setting the bail, the judge, Kenneth R. Lester Jr., said that Zimmerman could have no contact with 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 Zimmerman to remain at home from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. and require him to check in with authorities every three days.

The judge will not release Zimmerman from jail Friday because he wanted to make sure that security measures are in place for Zimmerman, who has received death threats.

Zimmerman's family members testified they would assume responsibility for his whereabouts when he is released from jail, the Times said.  He has spent nine days in the Seminole County jail since his arrest six weeks after he shot and killed Martin, 17, who was unarmed and walking through a small gated development in Sanford. Mr. Zimmerman told police he shot Mr. Martin in self-defense.

 The case led to led to protests and marches around the country and raised questions about Florida’s expansive self-defense law and racial profiling after Mr. Zimmerman was not immediately arrested after the shooting. Widely criticized for not moving quickly enough on the case, both the Sanford police chief and the local prosecutor stepped aside.

 Gov. Rick Scott Ö appointed Angela B. Corey, a state attorney from the Jacksonville area, as a special prosecutor to manage the case. Corey brought the maximum possible charge against Mr. Zimmerman, outlining in court papers that he had profiled Mr. Martin based on his race before following him as he walked through the development.

If convicted of second-degree murder, Mr. Zimmerman, could face life in prison.