Trayvon Martin: The Latest, Week 7


Bond of $150,000 set for Zimmerman: The Associated Press reports that the judge in George Zimmerman's case has decided that he can be released on $150,000 bail as he awaits trial for the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. The judge says there is a possibility that Zimmerman will be allowed to go out of state because of worries about his safety, but details need to be worked out among the attorneys and law enforcement. The judge says Zimmerman will not be released on Friday.


Zimmerman says he's "sorry" to Trayvon's parents at bail hearing; says he didn't know if the teen was armed: 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, Mediaite reports. His attorney, Mark O’Mara, told the court that his client wanted to make a statement, and Zimmerman said, "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." Watch video from the hearing at Mediaite.

Friday, April 20, 9:58 a.m. EDT: Zimmerman seeking release on bond: At the beginning of this morning's bail hearing, Zimmerman's attorney, Mark O'Mara, handed in his passport and began calling witnesses to testify on Zimmerman's behalf, MSNBC reports. The first witness called was his wife, Shellie Nicole Dean, who said she "absolutely" would take on the responsbiility of making sure Zimmerman doesn't try to flee his charges. Ahead of the hearing, O'Mara suggested that he would ask the judge to allow Zimmerman to leave the area — but not the country — if he is granted bond.

Friday, April 20, 9:24 a.m. EDT: Bail hearing for Zimmerman:  A bail hearing began on Friday morning for George Zimmerman. The parents of Zimmerman, 28, are expected to be available by telephone during the proceeding to offer assurances to the judge that Mr. Zimmerman will not flee if he is released on bail, the New York Times reports.

Friday, April 20, 9:20 a.m. EDT: New photo shows Zimmerman's bloody head: A new photograph obtained exclusively by ABC News showing the bloodied back of George Zimmerman's head was apparently taken three minutes after he shot and killed Trayvon Martin

Friday, April 20, 7:45 a.m. EDT: Trayvon's parents decline request to speak with Zimmerman: NBC 6 reports that George Zimmerman reached out to ask to speak to Trayvon Martin's parents Thursday night, but they rejected that request. Attorney Benjamin Crump told NBC 6 that they felt that Zimmerman had never publicly apologized for what happened to their son and that they thought it was inappropriate to do so at the eleventh hour before his Friday bond hearing. 

Thursday, April 19, 2:21 p.m. EDT: Source says Trayvon's last words were, "OK, you got it": The Daily Beast is reporting today on the statement of a law-enforcement source who says that Zimmerman told police that Trayvon's last words after the shooting were, "OK, you got it," which he said twice, then turned and fell facedown on the ground. Trayvon's father told reporters last month that police had told him his son's last words were, "You got me." Benjamin Crump, the family's lawyer, said that he doesn't believe either account, the Daily Beast reports.


Thursday, April 19, 1:51 p.m. EDT: Florida governor announces "Stand your ground" task force members: Florida Gov. Rick Scott and Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll announced Thursday morning the members of the Task Force on Citizen Safety and Protection, a panel created in response to the shooting death of Trayvon Martin and debate over the state's controversial "Stand your ground" law. The Miami Herald reports that Carroll will chair the task force along with vice chair the Rev. R.B. Holmes Jr., pastor of the Bethel Missionary Baptist Church in Tallahassee.

Thursday, April 19, 9:48 a.m. EDT: Who's the new judge in George Zimmerman's case? The Palm Beach Post News has this description of county Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester Jr., the new judge appointed to hear the case of George Zimmerman, accused in the second-degree murder of Trayvon Martin. "Lester, 58, has been a judge for 15 years, presiding over several high-profile murder cases. He was the judge in the Michael Reynolds murder case, in which the day laborer got into a dispute with a couple, brutally killing them and their 11-year-old daughter. Lester sentenced Reynolds to two death sentences plus life in prison in 2003. The next year, he meted out a death sentence to a handyman in the ax murder of a 71-year-old Oviedo man … Since his election to the bench in 1996, Lester has often topped annual judicial polls by two professional lawyer groups. In addition to the criminal divisions of circuit court, Lester has served in juvenile, delinquency, dependency, probate, guardianship and mental health."


Tuesday, April 19, 9:58 a.m. EDT: Trayvon's parents to attend town hall on "Stand your ground": Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin will take part in a panel discussion on Florida's "Stand your ground" law in Tampa today, the Tampa Tribune reports. The "Stand Your Ground for Justice" town hall meeting is sponsored by the National Bar Association, the largest national network of predominantly African-American attorneys and judges.

Wednesday, April 18, 3:37 p.m. EDT: Judge steps down, citing conflict: The Associated Press reports that Florida Circuit Judge Jessica Recksiedler recused herself from George Zimmerman's second-degree-murder case because of a potential conflict that relates to her husband. He works with Orlando, Fla., attorney Mark NeJame, who was first approached by Zimmerman's family to represent the neighborhood-watch volunteer. Seminole Circuit Judge Kenneth M. Lester Jr. has been appointed to replace her. Read more here.


Wednesday, April 18, 12:02 p.m. EDT: Michelle Obama: Trayvon's death a "tragedy"; Americans should rally around grieving family: First lady Michelle Obama said in an interview with NPR about the Trayvon Martin case that all parents understand "the tragedy of that kind of loss." She added that it's important "not to lose sight of the fact that this is a family that's grieving and there's been a tremendous loss" and said, "We all have to rally around that piece of it."

Wednesday, April 18, 9:30 a.m. EDT: Judge to decide by Friday whether to recuse herself: The judge assigned to the George Zimmerman second-degree-murder prosecution is expected to decide by Friday whether she will preside over the case, the Bradenton Herald reports. Zimmerman's defense attorney, Mark O'Mara, asked Seminole County Circuit Judge Jessica Recksiedler to recuse herself from the case in a motion filed Monday because her husband works with Mark NeJame, an Orlando, Fla.-area lawyer who is providing CNN with on-air legal analysis on the case and was originally approached to represent Zimmerman.


Wednesday, April 18, 9:16 a.m. EDT: Southern Baptist leader apologizes for Trayvon comment: A Southern Baptist leader apologized for comments he made last week when he accused U.S. President Barack Obama and other African-American leaders of exploiting the Trayvon Martin case for political reasons, Fox News reports. "I am writing to express my deep regret for any hurt or misunderstanding my comments about the Trayvon Martin case have generated," Richard Land wrote in a letter to Southern Baptist Convention President Bryant Wright. "It grieves me to hear that any comments of mine have to any degree set back the cause of racial reconciliation in Southern Baptist or American life."

Tuesday, April 17, 9:35 a.m. EDT: Zimmerman's attorney wants new judge: George Zimmerman’s attorney, Mark O'Mara, filed papers Monday to request a new judge in the case, CFN News reports. O'Mara believes that U.S. Circuit Judge Jessica Reckseidler's marriage to a man who works in the office of Mark NeJame (who has ties to Zimmerman's case and will be providing legal analysis for CNN) could represent a conflict of interest. 


Tuesday, April 17, 9 a.m. EDT: Zimmerman may apologize to Trayvon's family: In an interview with ABC, attorney Mark O'Mara said, "Understand that George fully well realizes that he was involved in some way in the death of another young man. He does not take the result of that altercation lightly at all. That weighed on him, I would imagine, more than the threat of what is to come in the system." Asked about a potential apology, he replied, "What I want to happen is for that conversation to occur directly to the family rather than … in the media through me."

Monday, April 16, 10:50 a.m. EDT: Bill Cosby: Trayvon case is about guns, not race: In an interview on CNN's State of the Union on Sunday, Cosby said that calling George Zimmerman a racist won't solve any of the issues surrounding Florida teen Travyon Martin's shooting death, because the bigger question is what Zimmerman was doing with a gun, and who taught him how to use it.


Monday, April 16, 9:45 a.m. EDT: Firefighter investigated for "sh—bag parents" comments: A Miami-Dade Fire Department official is under investigation for a personal Facebook post that claims "failed, sh—bag, ignorant parents" are to blame in cases like the shooting death of unarmed Miami teen Trayvon Martin. The post was reportedly published last Wednesday, the same night special prosecutor Angela Corey announced second-degree-murder charges against George Zimmerman, the neighborhood-watch captain who shot Martin.

Read last week's news about Trayvon Martin here.

Read all of The Root's coverage of and commentary on the Trayvon Martin case here.