Safety concerns over George Zimmerman's potential release

Bond hearing held in Trayvon Martin shooting case


SANFORD, Fla. – A bond hearing was being held Friday morning for George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watchman who shot and killed Trayvon Martin in Sanford.

Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder in the teen's death.

Zimmerman's attorney, Mark O'Mara, said his client deserves bail and will likely get it.

Also, he said Zimmerman has a few places of where he would be able to live if granted release from the Seminole County Jail.

"I'm very concerned about George's safety and the family's safety because there's a lot of emotions wrapped around this case."

In an effort to get Zimmerman bond, O'Mara will argue he has no prior significant criminal record, he's not a flight risk, he has ties to the community and family support, and he is not a danger to the community. O'Mara said even if his release has the potential to cause unrest in Sanford, the judge may still be required to let him go free.

That doesn't sit will with Martin's family.

"It's one of those situations where we believe on a legal ground, on a public safety ground, as well as on a moral ground, that George Zimmerman should be held without bail until these proceedings are complete," said Ben Crump, the Martin family attorney.

At a town hall meeting Thursday that was aimed at finding solutions to mounting frustrations in the city, some said that focus should also be on public safety.

Margaret Davis hopes Zimmerman is not granted bail "for his safety, as well as everybody else."

She went on to say if he does get bond, "He might be in trouble because a lot of people are looking for him -- not just black people -- because what he did was wrong."

When asked about public safety, Sanford City Manager Norton Bonaparte, Jr. would only say "we are prepared."

"I think the reality is the judge will make a decision that he thinks is in the best interest of the community and we have to trust the judicial system," said Bonaparte.

O'Mara said many bail bondsmen have offered to put up the money to bail Zimmerman out of jail.

Upon release, the judge could place restrictions on Zimmerman, including home confinement and GPS monitoring.

Stay tuned to Local 6 for updates.