SANFORD, Fla. (AP) — George Zimmerman was released around midnight Sunday from a county jail on $150,000 bail as he awaits his second-degree murder trial for fatally shooting Trayvon Martin.
The neighborhood watch volunteer was wearing a brown jacket and blue jeans and carrying a paper bag. He met a man in a white vehicle and drove away. His ultimate destination is being kept secret for his safety and it could be outside Florida.
Zimmerman had to put up 10 percent, or $15,000, to make bail. His father had indicated he might take out a second mortgage.
Zimmerman worked at a mortgage risk-management company at the time of the shooting and his wife is in nursing school. A website was set up to collect donations for Zimmerman’s defense fund. It is unclear how much has been raised.
Bail is not unheard of in second-degree murder cases, and legal experts had predicted it would be granted for Zimmerman because of his ties to the community, because he turned himself in after he was charged last week, and because he has never been convicted of a serious crime.
Prosecutors had asked for $1 million bail, citing two previous scrapes Zimmerman had with the law, neither of which resulted in charges. In 2005, he had to take anger management courses after he was accused of attacking an undercover officer who was trying to arrest Zimmerman’s friend. In another incident, a girlfriend accused him of attacking her.