George Zimmerman spoke at his bond hearing Friday morning, answering questions about whether he had given an apology or expressed regret over shooting Trayvon Martin in a Sanford, Florida neighborhood back in February. His attorney, Mark O’Mara, told the court that his client wanted to make a statement:
I wanted to say I am sorry for the loss of your son. I did not know how old he was. I thought he was a little bit younger than I am and I did not know if he was armed or not.
“I’m sorry, sir, you’re not really addressing that to the court. You’re doing it here for the victim’s family, is that correct?” asked prosecuting attorney Bernardo De La Rionda.
“They are here in the court, yes,” said Zimmerman.
“I understand. But I thought you were going to address your honor, Mr. Judge Lester, not — So that’s really addressed to the family and where the media happens to be, correct Mr. Zimmerman?” asked De La Rionda.
“No,” said Zimmerman. “To the mother and the father.”
“I felt sorry that they lost their child, yes,” Zimmerman told the prosecution, referring to Martin’s parents.
“Why did you wait so long” to tell the teen’s family he was sorry, asked De La Rionda, repeatedly questioning Zimmerman as to whom he had expressed his apologies for the shooting of Martin and why he had waited some 50 days to so.
“I was told not to communicate with them,” Zimmerman responded, adding that he had told his attorneys to give his apologies to Martin’s family.
De La Rionda then asked Zimmerman about contradictions in his statements to authorities, while Zimmerman maintained that he had “absolutely not” altered his story. He was also questioned about his cell phone records, as well as whether he had sent a message referring to Martin’s father.
Zimmerman’s wife, Shelley Nicole Zimmerman, testified over the phone. She said she understood that the court’s concern is that if a bond was issued that Zimmerman could be a flight risk. The court is also concerned that a bond, which could be in excess of six figures, would be excessive for the Zimmerman’s to afford. Zimmerman’s wife conceded that she is a nursing student and is not working and they do not own their home. She further asserted that there is no asset that her family could liquidate to make bail.
Mrs. Zimmerman said that she had “no concern whatsoever,” that her husband was a “danger to the community.”
The prosecuting attorney, Bernardo De La Rionda, examined Mrs. Zimmerman and she agreed that her husband was accused of a violent crime but that he did not have a “violent history.” When the prosecution outlined his history of violent crimes, including battery of a law enforcement officer and obstructing justice, she conceded that Zimmerman had informed her of those crimes.
De La Rionda further outlined an incident and read testimony from a woman who claims Zimmerman slapped her in the mouth. Mrs. Zimmerman countered that he filed an injunction against that woman. She reasserted that Zimmerman is not a threat to the community.
De La Rionda brought up a website established to fund Zimmerman’s defense. Mrs. Zimmerman conceded that Zimmerman left the state while he was “in hiding.”
The prosecution highlighted that both Mr. and Mrs. Zimmerman felt like they were in physical danger and Mrs. Zimmerman said she received “hate mail” which she would turn over to the attorney. However, she admitted that mail contained no threats.
O’Mara asked Mrs. Zimmerman to qualify the assault on the police officer. She testified that the officer in question was in plain clothes at the time and was in the process of helping a “friend” who he believed was being assaulted by the officer. O’Mara asked if law enforcement identified themselves as such, as the report on the incident makes clear they did. Zimmerman’s wife said that was “not true.” She did, however, concede that Zimmerman had to attend anger management courses as a court order.