Zimmerman bail set at $1 million: Is he a big flight risk?

By Nicole Burgess

February 26, 2012, George Zimmerman shot unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida. Martin was only 70 yards from his destination after taking a walk to the local convenient store. Zimmerman’s excuse was, “This guy looks like he is up to no good or he is on drugs or something,” as heard on the 911 call he made to police prior to the shooting.

June 3, 2012, Zimmerman was placed back in jail after posting a $150,000 bond due to the fact that he mislead authorities on the matter of his finances. Now that the courts are aware of his financial standing, he is being held in jail until he can post a $1 million bond.

Due to online donations, Zimmerman’s legal defence fund has raised more than $210,000 – which is enough to cover the charge of a bail bondsman.

28-year-old George Zimmerman is facing second-degree murder charges, which could result in life in prison if convicted. He is claiming self defense against Trayvon Martin in lieu of Florida’s “stand your ground” law.

The court date has yet to be set and could take up to a year. After the shooting resulted in nationwide protests, the firing of the Sanford police chief and an investigation of the U.S. Justice Department, this case has to be handled with extreme care. Due to that, the case could take quite a while to reach the court system.

However, Zimmerman will not be spending this time an entirely free man. While out on bail, he is not allowed to own a passport, go to an airport, drink alcohol or maintain a bank account.

According to Judge Kenneth Lester’s bond order release, Zimmerman “was preparing to flee to avoid prosecution, but such plans were thwarted.” With supposed plans to leave the country, a $1 million bond is fully justified.

More evidence piles up about Zimmerman’s plans to flee.

“The defendant also neglected to disclose that he had a valid second passport in his safe deposit box. Notably, together with the passport, the money only had to be hidden for a short time for him to leave the country if the defendant made a quick decision to flee,” the Judge Lester wrote.

Trayvon Martin’s family has not yet made a statement on George Zimmerman’s blatant lack of respect for the judicial system.

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