George Zimmerman’s family will testify by phone at a Friday bond hearing in the Trayvon Martin murder case, while his young victim’s parents will be there in person.
Zimmerman’s attorney Mark O’Mara will ask for his client’s release on bond at a hearing scheduled for 9 a.m. in Sanford, Fla.
Zimmerman, 28, was charged last week with second-degree murder in the shooting death of 17-year-old Martin.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, O’Mara filed an unopposed motion Thursday “to allow telephonic testimony from family members” at the bond hearing.
A family source confirmed to FOX News Channel that Martin’s parents — Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton — will attend the hearing.
If prosecutors oppose Zimmerman’s release on bond, they are required to present evidence against the 28-year-old on why he should remain behind bars throughout his trial.
Seminole Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester will preside over Friday’s hearing. Lester replaced Judge Jessica Recksiedler Wednesday after she recused herself because of her connection to a lawyer hired to provide commentary on the case for CNN.
Factors in whether Zimmerman will get bail include whether he poses a flight risk and is a danger to the community. Legal analyst Mark Geragos told CNN Thursday of Zimmerman’s quest for release, “All things considered, I think it is likely.”
“Bail” is the term for money or property pledged to guarantee a criminal defendant’s appearance at court. Because defendant’s are presumed innocent, pretrial confinement is permitted only in limited circumstances. The 8th Amendment prohibits excessive bails.
The amount of bail is up to the judge. In determining the amount of bail the judge is supposed to consider the seriousness of the offense, the weight of the evidence and the defendant’s ties to the community. The judge will also consider the defendant’s prior performance on bail, if any.
In this case the defendant (Zimmerman) is not accused of a capital crime but he is facing a possible life sentence. The evidence presented thus far is slim. He has lived in the community and has family there as well. There is no evidence of him failing to appear in court in the past, and he voluntarily surrendered.
I’m guessing the court will set bail somewhere between $250,000 and half a million. Normally a bondsman will want 10% of the bail amount as their fee, but they may agree to issue a bond with a substantially smaller deposit if there are co-signers with good credit.
Bail granted for George Zimmerman in the amount of $150,000 ($15,000 cash) with ankle monitoring and other restrictions. He will be allowed to leave the state.