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George Zimmerman Could Be Released On Bail

Paige Brettingen |
April 13, 2012 | 11:28 a.m. PDT

Executive Producer

A protest calling for Zimmerman's arrest (Creative Commons)
A protest calling for Zimmerman's arrest (Creative Commons)

George Zimmerman- who was charged on Wednesday with second-degree murder for the death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin- may be released from prison on bail.

The announcement from Zimmerman's attorney, Mark O'Mara, came as a surprise on Friday afternoon as Zimmerman was not scheduled to appear in court again until later this month.  O'Mara said he has also been pushing to get the trial moved elsewhere.

NY Daily News reported:

  • The surprise announcement came after O’Mara -- a respected lawyer best known for his cable TV commentary on sensational Florida trials like the Casey Anthony case -- said he didn’t expect Zimmerman to be tried this year.
  • “It would be guesswork,” O’Mara said. “But, most cases like this, I cannot imagine it going to trial within the year.”
  • O’Mara, in an interview with Michel Martin of National Public Radio, also said he doesn’t think Zimmerman could get a fair trial right now — and certainly not in Seminole County, Fla.
  • “You know, the wounds are still quite raw,” he said. “And part of it is, I would like to give the community some time, to begin to build back up its trust in the criminal justice process.”
  • Asked if he would request a change of venue at Zimmerman’s arraignment, O’Mara said “I have no idea.”
  • “It’s much too early,” he said. “That process really should occur only when you’re getting close to trial.”

According to MSNBC, O'Mara also added that his client "needs to be safe, but he doesn't need to be in a jail to be safe... He just has to be left alone and let the process work."

Zimmerman has only spent two nights in prison while people have been protesting for over a month that he be arrested.

But because of Florida's "Stand Your Ground" Law, that allows force to be used when attacked, 28-year old Zimmerman was granted his freedom.

Zimmerman made his first court appearance on Thursday before a Seminole County judge in Florida after an affidavit on Wednesday announced that Zimmerman had "profiled shooting victim Trayvon Martin, and ignored a police dispatcher's request that he wait for police to arrive."

The affidavit also stated that "Martin was unarmed and was not committing a crime.  It mentioned that Zimmerman observed Martin and called the police because he assumed the teen was a criminal who did not belong in the gated community."

If convicted, Zimmerman could face anywhere from 25 years in prison up to a life sentence.



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