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Zimmerman bond set at $1M

By Yamiche Alcindor

The Florida neighborhood watch volunteer charged with killing Trayvon Martin got a second chance Thursday when a judge set bond at $1 million.

In issuing his ruling, Circuit Court Judge Kenneth Lester said George Zimmerman manipulated the court during his first bond hearing in April and may have planned to flee with more than $130,000 collected through a personal website.

“This increased bail is not a punishment,” Lester wrote. “It is meant to allay this court’s concern that the defendant intended to flee the jurisdiction and a lesser amount would not ensure his presence in court.”

Lester revoked Zimmerman’s $150,000 bond last month after the state prosecutor accused Zimmerman and his wife of lying to the court about their financial assets during his initial bond hearing so Zimmerman could obtain a lower bond.

Zimmerman, a white Hispanic, is charged with second-degree murder in the shooting of Martin on Feb. 26. He told police he shot the 17-year-old in self-defense after the teen repeatedly knocked his head to the ground. Martin’s family says Zimmerman racially profiled the black teen and confronted him as he walked home from a convenience store unarmed.

Yesterday’s ruling came days after a second three-hour bond hearing last week during which attorneys on both sides argued over the details of the case and Zimmerman’s credibility.

Zimmerman instructed his wife on how to transfer money from his bank account into hers and his sister’s while he was in jail, according to recordings of jail calls released by prosecutors last month.

Judge Lester sided largely with the state prosecutor’s portrayal of Zimmerman as a liar who intentionally misled the court and may have been preparing to flee the country once out on bail. He rejected the notion put forth by Zimmerman’s lawyer, Mark O’Mara, that Zimmerman lied about his finances because he didn’t trust the system after being charged with second-degree murder.

“The defendant has flaunted the system,” Lester wrote in his ruling. “The defendant tried to manipulate the system when he has been presented the opportunity to do so.”

Zimmerman’s wife, Shellie, 25, faces a perjury charge for allegedly lying about the couple’s finances. She was arrested and briefly jailed before posting a $1,000 bond.

In making his decision, Lester wrote that he considered the nature and circumstances of the second-degree murder charge, the weight of the evidence against Zimmerman, and Zimmerman’s community and family ties. He also took into account Zimmerman’s financial resources and mental condition and weighed whether Zimmerman was a danger to his community.

While out on bond, Zimmerman must, among other things, remain in Seminole County, unless given approval to leave, must use an electronic monitoring device at his own expense and must stay away from the Orlando-Sanford International Airport, Lester wrote.

Benjamin Crump, the attorney for the parents of Trayvon Martin, issued a statement shortly after the ruling. “Trayvon’s parents would rather that the killer of their unarmed child remain in jail until the trial,” he said. “However, they respect the ruling of the court and the strong message that the judge sent that deference to judicial integrity is paramount to all court proceedings.”

Zimmerman bond set at $1M

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Trayvon Martin Murder Trial Judge Orders Release of New Material

trayvon martin protestors

*Judge Kenneth Lester, presiding judge over the Trayvon Martin murder trial has ordered the release of more material, including crime scene photos, an autopsy report, and tests conducted on the suspect, George Zimmerman, according to the Associated Press.

Other items to be released include Zimmerman’s statements to the police, his 911 call, transcripts of his jailhouse calls, as well as comments by ‘Witness Nine” and emails from witnesses about the case.

Zimmerman’s wife was recently jailed after being charged with perjury for allegedly lying about the couple’s finances.

He remains in jail after his bond was revoked.

Trayvon Martin Murder Trial Judge Orders Release of New Material

Yes, Trayvon Martin Fought George Zimmerman…For His Life


Trayvon Martin‘s autopsy has been released and reveals that the Florida teen that was shot and killed by neighborhood watchman, George Zimmerman, suffered injuries to his knuckles, which the powers that be will definitely try to claim that Martin attacked Zimmerman, resulting in his death.

WFTV.com reports that a medical examiner found two injuries on Martin’s body: the fatal gunshot wound to the chest and broken skin on his knuckles. Martin died from a single gunshot wound to the chest fired from “intermediate range,” according to an autopsy report reviewed Wednesday by NBC News. Reports are still trying to claim that Zimmerman had a pair of black eyes, a fractured nose and two cuts to the back of his head after the fatal shooting on Feb. 26. I don’t remember seeing any of this on the man that shot Trayvon Martin when he was brought into the precinct shortly after the shooting.

I personally maintain that Martin’s injuries are more than likely a result of him fighting Zimmerman for his life. What unarmed teenager do you know would fight a grown man with a gun? The only way this fight took place is if/when Zimmerman approached Martin with the gun and Martin knew he was going to have to fight for his life.

I just don’t understand why they’re prolonging this man’s sentencing, especially when in the same state, abused wife, Marissa Alexander was sentences to 20 years for shooting a warning shot into the air to ward off her husband’s advances. Our justice system sucks.

What do you think about the autopsy report showing injuries to Trayvon Martin’s knuckles and the defense team trying to claim it’s from attacking Zimmerman?

Related Links:

Abused Wife Marissa Alexander Faces 20 Year Sentence, “Stand Your Ground” Law Fails Her

Does George Zimmerman’s Old Myspace Page Prove He’s Racist?

Yes, Trayvon Martin Fought George Zimmerman…For His Life

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Attacker tells cops he jumped white man because he was mad about Trayvon Martin case

18-year-old suburban Chicago man charged with hate crime

BY 

Alton Hayes told police he robbed and beat a white man last week because he was upset about the Trayvon Martin case.

A black man in suburban Chicago told police he jumped a white man last week because he was upset about the Trayvon Martin case, police said.

Alton L. Hayes, 18, and a 15-year-old Chicago boy attacked the 19-year-old victim on April 17 at around 1 a.m. in Oak Park, west of Chicago, police told the Chicago Tribune.

Hayes was charged with committing a hate crime Wednesday, as well as attempted robbery and aggravated battery.

The boy, who is also black, was charged with attempted robbery, the Tribune said.

Hayes said he and his partner grabbed the man from behind and hit him several times, then grabbed a tree branch and said, “Empty your pockets, white boy,” FOX Chicago reported.

The pair then threw the man to the ground and hit him in the head several more times before taking off.

The pair was picked up a few blocks away after the man called the cops.

State’s attorney spokesman Andy Conklin told the Tribune that Hayes said he jumped the man because he was mad about what happened to Trayvon Martin, the 17-year-old Florida teen shot and killed by George Zimmerman on Feb. 26.

Hayes was being held in Cook County jail on $80,000 bail.

The attack was at least the second in a week to be tied to the Martin case.

On Saturday, a crazed mob in Alabama allegedly beat a man in his home with chairs, pipes, brass knuckles and paint cans and then left him with the words, “Now that’s justice for Trayvon,” according to two witnesses.

The attack on Matthew Owens, 40, of Mobile, was being investigated as an assault, not a hate crime, and Mobile police said the Martin case had nothing to do with it.

On Wednesday, police made their first arrest in the mob beating, 44-year-old Terry RawlsWKRG television reported.

Read more: 

George Zimmerman’s lawyer: Sorry for my client saying sorry for Trayvon Martin’s death

Mark O’Mara says the apology wasn’t necessary for bond hearing
Attorney Mark O’Mara (c.) says he’s sorry that his client, George Zimmerman, apologized at his bond hearing for Trayvon Martin’s death.

George Zimmerman’s lawyer offered up an apology for his client’s apology at his bond hearing on Friday.

Mark O’Mara told “CBS’ This Morning” on Monday that if he’d known it would upset Trayvon Martin’s family, he would not have allowed his client to offer up the mea culpa for the shooting death of their teenage child.

“I wanted to say I am sorry for the loss of your son,” Zimmerman said Friday.

The Martins’ attorney, Benjamin Crump, accused Zimmerman at a press conferene after the hearing of trying to pander to the court with the apology, which he described as “insincere.”

“The apology was somewhat of a surprise because we had told them this was not the appropriate time, but they just disregarded that,” he said.

ZIMMERMAN RELEASED FROM JAIL ON $150,000 BAIL

O’Mara admitted on Monday it was not a good idea, and said on “This Morning” that if he’d known the Martins’ attorney would react in that manner with a press conference, he wouldn’t have allowed Zimmerman to do it.

“I’m not sure that we would have done it at the bond hearing,” he said. “So, I apologize for that.”

Zimmerman was released from a Florida jail late Sunday night on $150,000 bail as he awaits his second-degree murder trial in the fatal shooting of unarmed teen Trayvon Martin.

The neighborhood watch volunteer was wearing a brown jacket and blue jeans and carrying a paper bag as he walked out of the Seminole County jail around midnight Sunday. He was following another man and didn’t look over at photographers gathered outside. The two then got into a white BMW car and drove away.

Zimmerman gave no statement as he left the suburban Orlando jail.

His ultimate destination is being kept secret for his safety and it could be outside Florida.

Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester said at a hearing Friday that Zimmerman cannot have any guns and must observe a 7 p.m.-to-6 a.m. curfew. Zimmerman also surrendered his passport.

Zimmerman had to put up 10 percent, or $15,000, to make bail. His father had indicated he might take out a second mortgage.

Read more:

Prosecutors: Zimmerman ignored warning to back off

By GREG BLUESTEIN

     

After weeks in hiding, George Zimmerman made his first courtroom appearance Thursday in the shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, and prosecutors outlined their murder case in court papers, saying the neighborhood watch volunteer followed and confronted the black teenager after a police dispatcher told him to back off.

The brief outline, contained in an affidavit filed in support of the second-degree murder charges, appeared to contradict Zimmerman’s claim that Martin attacked him after he had turned away and was returning to his vehicle.

In the affidavit, prosecutors also said that Martin’s mother identified cries for help heard in the background of a 911 call as her son’s. There had been some question as to whether Martin or Zimmerman was the one crying out.

The account of the shooting was released as Zimmerman, 28, appeared at a four-minute hearing in a jailhouse courtroom, setting in motion what could be a long, drawn-out process, or an abrupt and disappointingly short one for the Martin family because of the strong legal protections contained in Florida’s “stand your ground” law on self-defense.

During the hearing, Zimmerman stood up straight, held his head high and wore a gray jail jumpsuit. He spoke only to answer “Yes, sir” twice after he was asked basic questions from the judge, who was not in the courtroom but on closed-circuit TV. The defendant’s hair was shaved down to stubble and he had a thin goatee. His hands were shackled in front of him.

   

He did not enter a plea; that will happen at his arraignment, which was set for May 29. Zimmerman’s attorney, Mark O’Mara, has said his client will plead not guilty. A bond hearing for Zimmerman likely will be held April 20, O’Mara said late Thursday.

To prove second-degree murder, prosecutors must show that Zimmerman committed an “imminently dangerous” act that showed a “depraved” lack of regard for human life. The charge carries a mandatory sentence of 25 years in prison and a maximum of life.

The special prosecutor in the case, Angela Corey, has refused to explain exactly how she arrived at the charge. But in the affidavit, prosecutors said Zimmerman spotted Martin while patrolling his gated community, got out of his vehicle and followed the young man.

Prosecutors interviewed a friend of Martin’s who was talking to him over the phone moments before the shooting. His parents’ lawyer has said that Martin was talking to his girlfriend back in Miami.

“During this time, Martin was on the phone with a friend and described to her what was happening,” the affidavit said. “The witness advised that Martin was scared because he was being followed through the complex by an unknown male and didn’t know why.”

During a recorded call to a police dispatcher, Zimmerman “made reference to people he felt had committed and gotten away with break-ins in his neighborhood. Later while talking about Martin, Zimmerman stated ‘these a——s, they always get away’ and also said ‘these f—–g punks,’ said the affidavit, available at http://apne.ws/Itn7Nu .

It continued: “When the police dispatcher realized Zimmerman was pursuing Martin, he instructed Zimmerman not to do that and that the responding officer would meet him. Zimmerman disregarded the police dispatcher and continued to follow Martin who was trying to return to his home.”

“Zimmerman confronted Martin and a struggle ensued,” prosecutors said in their account.

The account provided no details on the struggle other than to say that witnesses heard numerous calls for help and that Martin’s mother reviewed the 911 recordings and recognized her son’s cry.

Zimmerman told authorities that Martin attacked him as he going back to his vehicle, punched him in the face, knocked him down and began slamming head against the sidewalk.

  

At Thursday’s hearing, the case was assigned to Circuit Judge Jessica Recksiedler, a 39-year-old former assistant state attorney from Sanford who was elected to the bench in 2010. Zimmerman is being held without bail at the county jail.

For all the relief among civil rights activists over the arrest, legal experts warned there is a real chance it could get thrown out before it ever goes to trial because of Florida’s “stand your ground” law, which gives people a broad right to use deadly force without having to retreat from a fight.

At a pretrial hearing, Zimmerman’s lawyers would only have to prove by a preponderance of evidence — a relatively low legal standard — that he acted in self-defense in order to get a judge to toss out the second-murder charges. And if that fails and the case does go to trial, the defense can raise the argument all over again.

There’s a “high likelihood it could be dismissed by the judge even before the jury gets to hear the case,” Florida defense attorney Richard Hornsby said. Karin Moore, an assistant professor of law at Florida A&M University, said the law “puts a tremendous burden on the state to prove that it wasn’t self-defense.”

At some point soon, Zimmerman’s lawyer is expected to ask the judge for a hearing on “stand your ground.”

“It is going to be a facet of this defense, I’m sure,” O’Mara said in an interview. “That statute has some troublesome portions to it, and we’re now going to have some conversations and discussions about it as a state. But right now it is the law of Florida and it is the law that is going to have an impact on this case.”

Martin family and their lawyer acknowledged the arrest is just a first step.

“I think that it will start the process that we are pushing for,” said Martin’s father, Tracy Martin, “but we can’t just stop because we have an arrest. We got to keep pushing to get a conviction, and after a conviction we have to certainly continue to push to get a stiff sentence.”

Martin family attorney Ben Crump said he wants to make the repeal or the amending of “stand your ground” laws in Florida and other states to be a big part of Trayvon Martin’s legacy. “We’re not the wild, wild west,” Crump said.

As for Zimmerman, O’Mara said after the court appearance: “He is tired. He has gone through some tribulations. He is facing second-degree murder charges now. He is frightened. That would frighten any of us.”

“He has a lot of hatred focused on him right now,” the defense attorney said. “I’m hoping that the hatred settles down now that we’re moving forward.”

Prosecutors: Zimmerman ignored warning to back off

Angela Corey, special prosecutor in Trayvon Martin case, is tough on crime, ‘wants to do the right thing’

Corey decides no grand jury, fate of George Zimmerman is in her hands

BY 

In this March 9, 2010 photo, state attorney Angela Corey listens to a victim's impact statement at the Duval County Courthouse in Jacksonville, Fla. Corey was named the special prosecutor in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin by a neighborhood watch volunteer. Corey was once fired from her job as a prosecutor. She  has a reputation for rarely using grand juries and has been accused of being too close with law enforcement. (AP Photo/The Florida Times-Union, Bruce Lipsky)

State attorney Angela Corey listens to a victim’s impact statement at the Duval County Courthouse in Jacksonville, Fla.

The fate of George Zimmerman now rests in the hands of one of Florida’s toughest prosecutors.

State Attorney Angela Corey was thrust into the national spotlight on Monday when she announced that she – and not a grand jury – would decide whether to charge Zimmerman for killing Trayvon Martin on Feb. 26.

The former special prosecutor on the case, Norman Wolfinger, called for a grand jury in March, but later recused himself from the case.

Gov. Rick Scott appointed Corey to take over on March 23.

GEORGE ZIMMERMAN SPEAKS FOR FIRST TIME, LAUNCHES WEBSITE

Corey, 57, is a Republican and was elected in 2008. She serves in Florida’s Fourth Judicial Circuit Court, which is made up of three right-leaning counties in northeast Florida.

She is widely known as one of her state’s most passionate and aggressive prosecutors.

During Corey’s three year tenure, the population in Jacksonville’s Duval County jail has risen, despite a drop in crime in the city and an overall drop in prison populations around the state, according to a study of her record by the University of North Florida in Jacksonville.

“The single most important factor as to why the jail is so full in Duval County is prosecutorial style — Angela Corey’s aggressive style as prosecutor,” Michael Hallett, the chairman of criminology and criminal justice at the school who led the study, told Reuters.

“Compared to her predecessor, she is much more aggressive in terms of filing criminal charges, much less likely to dismiss charges… She prosecutes every potential charge to the hilt,” Hallett added.

Corey grew up in Jacksonville and went to Florida State before getting her law degree at University of Florida.

Before the Martin case, she was best known for seeking a first-degree murder indictment against Cristian Fernandez, a 12-year-old accused of killing his 2-year-old brother by smashing his head into a bookshelf.

Fernandez, now 13, is the youngest person ever to be charged with murder as an adult in Florida and could get life in prison.

Critics attack Corey for lacking compassion. Corey said the charge was a reflection of the brutal murder.

“I have compassion for Cristian Fernandez, but it’s not my job to forgive,” Corey told reporters at the time. “It’s my job to follow the law.”

Corey’s decision on Monday was likely not a surprise to those familiar with her work.

She has a record of avoiding grand juries, and last month, she told the Miami Herald her office would probably proceed on its own.

Both the Zimmerman and Martin camps have said the decision favors their case.

So far, Corey has given no hint as to how she’ll proceed, saying in a statement, “The decision should not be considered a factor in the final determination of the case.”

Even if she decides to file charges, a judge could decide to throw out the charges on self-defense grounds and grant Zimmerman immunity from criminal and civil lawsuits, The New York Times reported.

“She definitely wants to see justice done,” Jacksonville defense lawyer Mitchell Stone told Reuters. “She has a lot of compassion for the victims of crime, but she knows when a case is not going to be able to be prosecuted.”

“She wants to do the right thing.”

Angela Corey, special prosecutor in Trayvon Martin case, is tough on crime, ‘wants to do the right thing’

Ambulance called for George Zimmerman cancelled, dispatch recordings say

ByCrimesider Staff

SANFORD, Fla. – Newly released fire rescue dispatch recordings from the night 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was shot and killed reveal that a second ambulance – presumably to tend to George Zimmerman – was canceled before it arrived at the scene of the shooting.

Photos: Trayvon Martin

A Trayvon Martin family spokesperson says the information in those recordings is just another reason why Zimmerman should be arrested, reports CBS affiliateWKMG.

In the recordings, which were first obtained by the New York Daily News and then shared by the newspaper with the station, rescue workers are heard talking about Zimmerman, just minutes after his family said Martin repeatedly bashed his head into a sidewalk.

“Do they have a second patient?” a person says on the recording. “That’s affirmative, there’s a second patient.”

“You can cancel the second rescue” the rescue worker says,” adding that the second patient, Zimmerman, didn’t have a gunshot wound.

A spokesman for the lawyers working for the Martin family said that if Zimmerman really had his head repeatedly smashed into the sidewalk during a life and death struggle with Martin, there’s “not a chance” the ambulance would have been cancelled.

Complete coverage of the Trayvon Martin case on Crimesider

 

Trayvon Martin marchers to Sanford, Fla., police: ‘We want an arrest. Shot in the chest’

Rev. Jesse Jackson, Rev. Al Sharpton and NAACP President Benjamin Justice lead a march and rally in front of the Sanford Police Department for Trayvon Martin on Saturday.

Civil-rights leaders from the NAACP and other groups led thousands of other protesters on Saturday in a march to the city’s police headquarters to demand the arrest of the man who shot and killed Trayvon Martin.

The Rev. Jesse Jackson, the Rev. Al Sharpton and NAACP President Benjamin Jealous were among those leading the rally through Sanford’s streets, marching behind a huge yellow banner with the words “Justice for Trayvon.”

“We want an arrest. Shot in the chest,” marchers chanted.

With  gospel music playing in the background, protesters were marching from a technical high school campus on 13th Street through a predominantly black neighborhood to the Sanford Police Station several blocks away. The throng stretched for blocks, weaving past homes, churches and small businesses, many of them boarded up.

The rally was organized by the NAACP. Its chapters from South Carolina, Georgia and Alabama arranged buses to bring participants to the rally, while others traveled by car.

“Because of the age of the young man and because of the circumstances of his death, every community can identify with that,” said Bernard Simelton, president of the Alabama state conference of the NAACP. “We’ve had things like that happen in Alabama where somebody gets killed and the police just sweep it under the rug. It just touches everyone.”

The marchers were demanding the arrest of George Zimmerman, the 28-year-old neighborhood watchman who says he was defending himself when he fatally shot 17-year-old Martin during a scuffle. Martin, who was black, was unarmed as he walked from a convenience store, and the case has become a racial flashpoint with protesters across the nation calling for his arrest. Zimmerman’s father is white, his mother Hispanic.

Sanford police did not immediately arrest Zimmerman, saying they had no information to disprove his assertion that he acted in self-defense. A special prosecutor has since been named to look into the case.

Are old photos of Martin, Zimmerman deceptive?

At a press conference before the march, Jealous and Sharpton denied media reports that Sharpton planned to call for an economic boycott of Sanford or the surrounding central Florida area, calling it a “media fabrication.”

“Put to rest the rumor that there is any discussion of a boycott of the community,” Jealous told reporters.

Sharpton said there could still be unspecified action against national corporations that support the “Stand Your Ground” laws like the one police cited when they declined to arrest Zimmerman. The law gives citizens wide latitude to use deadly force when a threat is perceived.

Sharpton declined to identify those corporations but said, “We take nothing nonviolent off the table.”

A Florida NAACP leader said that Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee’s stepping aside temporarily was not enough, and that he should be fired.

Martin’s death has also attracted international attention.

About 300 people gathered outside the U.S. Embassy in London on Saturday in a show of solidarity for the Martin family’s cause. Some read poems and others carried placards with the slogan ‘No Justice, No peace.’ At the end of the three-hour vigil, 17 black balloons where released in honor of the slain teenager.

Trayvon Martin marchers to Sanford, Fla., police: ‘We want an arrest. Shot in the chest’

Mom of 13-Year-Old Witness in Trayvon Shooting Speaks Out

*The mother of a 13-year-old eyewitness to the Trayvon Martin killing says a police investigator told her he didn’t buy shooter George Zimmerman’s claim of self-defense.

Cheryl Brown, accompanied by her attorney Alisa Adamson, appeared on both MSNBC’s “PoliticsNation with Al Sharpton” and “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell” to talk about what her son saw that night, and his questioning by police after the killing.

“The lead investigator from the Sanford Police Department stood in my family room and told me this was absolutely not self-defense and they needed to prove it,” said Brown. “He told me, and I’m paraphrasing this quote, ‘Read between the lines. There’s some stereotyping going on here.’”

Brown said police did not contact her son about his 911 call until five days after the shooting. And when they did question him, Brown said she thought the questions were “leading.”

“I think there were some tactics used to maybe suggest some things to him, leading him to say certain things,” she said.

Watch Cheryl Brown’s interview on “PoliticsNation” below.

Watch Here!

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