Will Evidence Come Up at Friday’s Bond Hearing for Zimmerman?
George Zimmerman went into hiding amid a national uproar over the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin. That seclusion ended last week when the Sanford, Florida, neighborhood watch volunteer turned himself in after being charged with second-degree murder.
On Friday morning, Zimmerman will seek bond — and freedom — despite ongoing concerns about his safety.
“There have been a lot of emotions that have come forward in this case, and some of those emotions have shown themselves in bad ways,” defense lawyer Mark O’Mara said this week about his client’s well-being.
The bond request will be heard by the case’s new judge, Kenneth Lester Jr.
Special prosecutor Angela Corey has the burden of showing why bond should not be set or that it should be high. The burden is referred to as “proof of guilt is evident or presumption of guilt is great.” Corey would have to convince Lester that a jury would convict Zimmerman.
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The parties could agree to a bond that must be approved by the judge. If that does not occur, Lester would conduct a hearing Friday morning, and evidence, including sealed information the public has not heard before, might be produced.
In that scenario, Corey could call witnesses and submit paperwork, such as affidavits and police reports.
Among other factors, Lester will examine the seriousness of the crime, Zimmerman’s ties to the community, his conduct and whether he poses a danger or flight risk. Zimmerman claims he is indigent.
The defense is expected to argue Zimmerman is not a flight risk or danger to the community.
In 2005, Zimmerman was arrested in an assault on an officer and resisting arrest after an incident in a local bar. Zimmerman explained that the case was born out of mistaken identity. He entered a six-month, pretrial diversion program as part of a plea deal, court documents show.
Although his previous legal counsel indicated Zimmerman fled Florida because of security concerns, the defendant remained in touch with authorities when they needed to reach him, according to Sanford police.