George Zimmerman leaves Florida jail on $1M bond
(AP) - Neighborhood watch leader George Zimmerman was released from jail Friday for a second time while he awaits his second-degree murder trial for fatally shooting Trayvon Martin.
Zimmerman left the Seminole County Jail a day after Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester granted a $1 million bail with strict conditions. He wore a white shirt and dress jacket as he walked out.
The neighborhood watch leader is required to stay in Seminole County. He was allowed to leave Florida after his first release in April. He must be electronically monitored, can't 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.
"He's very happy to be out," Don West, one of Zimmerman's attorneys, told reporters outside the jail. "Certainly it's been a sobering experience spending the last month in jail in that kind of environment."
Zimmerman had been released on a $150,000 bond in April, but the judge revoked it last month after prosecutors presented evidence that he and his wife misled the court about how much money they had available to pay for the bond. They didn't tell the judge that donations from a website for Zimmerman's legal defense had raised around $135,000 at the time of his first bond hearing.
Prosecutors argued Zimmerman and his wife talked in code during recorded jailhouse conversations about how to transfer the donations to different bank accounts. For example, George Zimmerman at one point asked how much money they had. She replied "$155." Prosecutors allege that was code for $155,000. Their reference to "Peter Pan" was code for the PayPal system through which the donations were made, prosecutors said.
Shellie Zimmerman faces arraignment at the end of the month on a perjury charge; she was freed on bond.
Zimmerman's attorneys said Thursday that there was $211,000 in an account, which included the amount raised from Zimmerman's website and also money generated from another website set up by his legal team. An additional $20,000 was raised in the day after Lester issued the $1 million bond order.
Zimmerman had to pay a bond company $100,000 but also needed $1 million in collateral to secure the bail, his legal team said.
West refused to comment on what was being used as collateral after Zimmerman left the jail.