SANFORD, Fla. - George Zimmerman posted $9,000 bond and was released from jail on Tuesday following his Monday arrest, in which he was accused of pointing a gun at his girlfriend.
Zimmerman, 30, was released from the John E. Polk Correctional Facility in Seminole County on Tuesday at 4:30 p.m.
Hours earlier, he appeared in front of Judge Fred Schott for his aggravated assault, battery and criminal mischief charges following the domestic violence incident with his girlfriend.
Schott said he thought deputies had probable cause to arrest Zimmerman. He also ordered that Zimmerman must stay away from his girlfriend, Samantha Scheibe and her home on Topfield Court. He is also not allowed to have weapons and ammunition and cannot leave Central Florida.
Zimmerman will be put on GPS electronic monitoring as he awaits his next court date on Jan. 7, 2014 at 1:30 p.m. Judge Jessica Reckseidler, who had to recuse herself from presiding over Zimmerman's murder trial because of a conflict of interest, has been appointed the case, as there is no conflict of interest presently.17055596
Schott said he isn't considering prior incidents with Zimmerman and sees this domestic violence incident as a separate case.
The state said at the first appearance that Zimmerman's girlfriend is "in fear of her safety," and requested no contact with Zimmerman. Prosecutors said Zimmerman has mentioned suicide in the past and that his girlfriend reported they had a domestic violence choking incident a week ago that she didn't report.
The state had requested $50,000 bond for Zimmerman, to which Schott replied, "I'm not going to even go near that."
Zimmerman is being represented by public defender Jeff Dowdy, after Schott found Zimmerman indigent. According to the affidavit of indigency, Zimmerman is $2.5 million in debt, has no income and had $150 in cash on hand when he was arrested.
Dowdy says Zimmerman has living arrangements and doesn't oppose electronic monitoring. Assistant Public Defender Daniel Megaro requested that Zimmerman's bond be $4,900.
Dowdy, who represented 2004 XBox murder ringleader Troy Victorino in Deltona, said Zimmerman was in good spirits on Tuesday morning. At a news conference after the first appearance, Dowdy said that he is "confident" Zimmerman will be acquitted of the domestic violence charges.
Neither Scheibe, nor Zimmerman's family members were at the hearing.
Zimmerman, the 30-year-old Neighborhood Watch leader who was acquitted this summer in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, was booked into the Seminole County Jail at around 1 p.m. Monday.
If convicted, Zimmerman could face five or more years in prison.
Scheibe, told deputies he pointed a shotgun at her, smashed a glass table and pushed her out of the house they shared on Monday. While on the phone with dispatchers, deputies said Zimmerman pushed Scheibe out the front door and then barricaded it with furniture.
Zimmerman told dispatchers it was Scheibe who ransacked the house, not him, and denies pointing a gun at her. Zimmerman said they were fighting because he agreed to move out of the house.
Monday night, Seminole County detectives carried evidence out of Schiebe's home, including a long black bag that was the size of a rifle.
In his 911 call, Zimmerman told dispatchers he didn't want to fight with Schiebe because she is pregnant. Scheibe later told deputies, however, she is not pregnant.
Local 6 legal analyst Luis Calderon said in order for the case to move forward, investigators have to choose which side they're on.
"When you have one person saying this is the way it happened, and the other person is saying this is the way it happened, and neither side has anything to back up their story or has any evidence of it," Calderon said.
He said if no one saw what happened at the home or heard anything to corroborate either story, it'll be hard to prove and charges could be dropped. Prosecutors also need evidence of the charges.
Zimmerman's wife, Shellie, announced in September that she was filing for divorce from her husband. George Zimmerman was finally served with divorce papers in jail on Monday, according to Shellie's attorney Kelly Sims.
George Zimmerman has made headlines several times since his acquittal, including a domestic violence incident with his estranged wife, visiting a gun manufacturing facility in Brevard County and rescuing a family from an overturned SUV.
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