NEW ORLEANS - George Zimmerman, the man charged in the death of Trayvon Martin, posted bond and was released from the Seminole County jail again Friday afternoon.
A judge granted Zimmerman bond Thursday for a second time, setting it at $1 million. His previous $150,000 bond was revoked after prosecutors presented evidence that he had misled the court about his finances.
Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder in Martin's death. He claims he shot Martin in self-defense.
Attorney Mark O'Mara posted Friday on his website, saying that since his statement Thursday asking for donations to help Zimmerman post the $1 million bond, supporters have donated about $20,000.
"Since the $1,000,000 bond was made public on July 5, supporters have donated approximately $20,000," O'Mara wrote. "In the two months prior to the Court's Order Setting Bail, the George Zimmerman Defense Fund had received approximately $55,000."
O'Mara's statement Thursday said the financial strain the bond has on his client and their family.
"George Zimmerman and his family do not have anywhere near $1,000,000 for collateral so even if we pay the $100,000 fee, the bail bond company will have to agree to work with us on how the collateral would be posted," O'Mara wrote. "We are encouraged we can work this out. We paid $15,000 initially for the first bail fee so an additional fee of $85,000 would have to be paid to post this new bond assuming we can work out the collateral issue."
O'Mara said the donations to the George Zimmerman legal fund have decreased while Zimmerman has been in jail awaiting his bond hearing. According to O'Mara, the Legal Defense Fund has approximately $211,000 currently and about $40,000 in payables for defense expenses so far, not including attorney fees.
"Paying bond and scheduled expenses would effectively wipe out the existing balance," O'Mara wrote. "For those who have given in the past, for those who have thought about giving, for those who feel Mr. Zimmerman was justified in his actions, for those who feel they would do the same if they were in Mr. Zimmerman's shoes, for those that think Mr. Zimmerman has been treated unfairly by the media, for those who feel Mr. Zimmerman has been falsely accused as a racist, for those who feel this case is an affront to their constitutional rights -- now is the time to show your support."
While he is out on bond, Zimmerman must not commit any crimes, must avoid contact with Martin's family, must be electronically monitored at his own expense, must not leave Seminole County without authorization from the court, must check in with the Pretrial Release Department every 48 hours, must not visit the airport, must not open or maintain a bank account, must not consume any alcohol, must obey a curfew between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. and must not apply for or obtain a passport.
"Trayvon's parents would rather that the killer of their child, their unarmed child, remain in jail, until the trial. However, they respect the court's ruling," said Benjamin Crump, an attorney for Martin's family.
Martin's mother, Sybrina Fulton, said Friday she was disappointed by the judge's decision to give Zimmerman another chance at posting bond and leaving prison before trial. Fulton spoke Friday at a news conference with the Rev. Al Sharpton.
"I usually get emotional just thinking about the situation that's happened and just to know that the killer of my son may walk free sometime," Fulton said.
"We continue to lean on God and ask Him to give us the strength and to continue to give us the faith in the justice system, that justice will prevail," said Martin's father, Tracy Martin.
Martin's family is in New Orleans to attend the Essence Music Festival, an annual musical extravaganza that also tackles themes of importance to African-Americans, such as education and the criminal justice system.
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