Former Neighborhood Watch captain George Zimmerman, who fatally shot Trayvon Martin in what he said was self-defense, was released from a Florida county jail on $150,000 bail around midnight on Sunday. In fear for his safety, Zimmerman was transferred to an undisclosed location to await trial for a charge of second-degree murder.
According to news reports, he posted a $15,000 bond — 10 percent of the total, as is typical — which his father may have raised by taking out a second mortgage on his house. Conditions for Zimmerman’s release included surrendering his passport, observing a curfew, and wearing a GPS monitoring device. There is also a prohibition on the consumption of alcohol or drugs, and a ban on the possession of firearms.
Reporters and photographers gathered at the Seminole County jail late Sunday night to witness the release. But according to news reports, unlike in the Casey Anthony case, the atmosphere outside the detention facility was calm — no shouting of questions and no protesters. Zimmerman did not give a statement.
Media accounts said Zimmerman, dressed in jeans and a brown jacket and carrying a paper bag, followed another man into a white BMW before driving away. It was not immediately clear where he went, but with the media circus surrounding the case, Zimmerman is expected to keep a low profile for his own safety. He may even leave the state if authorities agree to allow it.
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Photo of George Zimmerman: AP Images