George Zimmerman appeared in a Seminole County courtroom this morning, April 20, before Judge Kenneth Lester Jr. George appeared looking very thin with a fresh shave and clean suit as Trayvon Martin's parents were in the courtroom.
George's attorney, Mark O'Mara presented the judge with Zimmerman's passport which expires in May 2012. The judge then called Zimmerman's family to testify in the bond hearing.
The first family member to testify via phone was Zimmerman's wife of five years, Shellie Nicole Zimmerman. Shelly is a full time nursing student, four weeks from graduation. Shellie says they have no financial means to assist in bond costs but family will "scrape up" money for bond costs.
Shellie admits her husband has a history of violence. She has not seen him since he's been in hiding but they have been talking everyday. She also admits she has been receiving hate mail.
Zimmerman's father, Robert Zimmerman was second to testify. Robert is a disabled veteran with little income, little savings for George's bond. Robert says he would take out a second mortgage to secure his son's release. Robert tells of George being nonviolent, always respecting the law, except when he is provoked, says he saw photos of his son's injury for the first time on the news.
After Robert, George's mother, Gladys Zimmerman spoke. Says she keeps in constant contact with George and his wife, Shellie. She owns a home and tells of George as a kind and caring individual.
After Gladys, State Attorney's office investigator Dale Gilbreath took the stand although he says he was not planning on testifying. Mark O'Mara, Zimmerman's attorney, questions Gilbreath with a blown up copy of the probable cause affadavit in hand. O'Mara then asks Gilbreath what comes to mind when he hears the word "profiling," which is typed in the affadavit. Investigator Gilbreath said witness quoted in affidavit was interviewed five weeks after the event. O'Mara questions Gilbreath on using the term "confronted" when describing how George Zimmerman approached Trayvon Martin.
The prosecutor says there is video of Trayvon buying Skittles and iced tea at 7-Eleven the night he was killed. With Gilbreath on the stand, more evidence is discussed. It is said that Zimmerman "went after" Trayvon and has two flashlights on him, one attached to his keys and a six inch one in hand. Gilbreath says there were powder burns on Trayvon's sweatshirt indicating the shot was fired at close proximity.
George Zimmerman then took the stand to make a statement. George stated,
"I wanted to say I am sorry for the loss of your son. I did not know how old he was, I thought he was a little bit younger than I am and I did not know if he was armed or not."
Zimmerman, faces a second-degree murder charge in the Feb. 26 shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.
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