George Zimmerman can be released from jail on $1 million bond, a judge ruled Thursday. The judge overseeing the Trayvon Martin case in Sanford, Florida set bond after hearing arguments last week. It is still unclear how quickly Zimmerman will be able to post bond and be released from jail.
The decision brings closure to a multi-week saga, filled with scandal and intrigue. Judge Kenneth Lester revoked Zimmerman's original bail of $150,000 last month after news came out that Zimmerman and his wife Shellie failed to disclose more than $150,000 in donations from the public.
Prosecutors asked the judge to deny bond to Zimmerman, or else for it to be set at the steep price of $1 million. Judge Lester's order said the new $1 million bond was reassuring to the court that Zimmerman will not flee. "This court has, thus far, declined to exercise its contempt powers and the state failed to prove that the defendant be held without bond," the order said.
Three months ago, rumors circulated that Zimmerman was a flight risk after his attorneys formally ended their relationship with him because he cut off contact.
Zimmerman will not have to post the full $1 million in bail, just $100,000 to meet the requirement. The standard in Florida is 10%.
Zimmerman also faces other restrictions: He must abide by a curfew from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m., will be monitored electronically, must report to officials every two days, cannot open or maintain a bank account, and cannot be on the property of an airport. He also cannot apply for or have a passport.
Trayvon Martin's parents were disappointed, but accepted the ruling in stride. "Trayvon's parents would rather that the killer of their unarmed child remain in jail until the trial, 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," Martin family attorney Benjamin Crump said. "Furthermore, they understand that this is not a sprint to justice, but a long journey to justice that they must bear for their son Trayvon."