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George Zimmerman‘s bail has been set at $150,000 in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, and at a court hearing Friday, the disgraced neighborhood watchman apologized to the 17-year-old victim’s parents.
“I wanted to say I am sorry for the loss of your son. I did not know how old he was,” said Zimmerman, 28, according to The New York Times. “I thought he was a little bit younger than I am. I did not know if he was armed or not.”
Friday’s court appearance in Sanford., Fla., marked Zimmerman’s first time speaking in public since a media firestorm ignited over the killing of Martin in February. Zimmerman claimed self-defense, while Martin’s parents — Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton — decried the incident as an act of racial profiling, along with millions of outraged supporters.
Last week, Zimmerman was charged with the second-degree murder of Martin.
“I wonder why it took so long,” Joe Scarborough, co-host of MSNBC’s Morning Joe, told told THR at the time. “Obviously you don’t want to pre-judge anybody and you’re innocent until proven guilty. But, that said, the police were guilty of being extraordinarily insensitive. Holding a young man for three days, not notifying the parents? (There were) a lot of things very shocking about it, regardless of whether Zimmerman’s found guilty or not.”
Martin and Fulton did not visibly react to Zimmerman’s mea culpa, said the Times, and judge Kenneth R. Lester Jr. decreed he could not have any contact with the grieving parents, nor would Zimmerman be allowed to drink alcohol, access a gun or make a move without being electronically monitored.
Zimmerman, whose attorneys recently dropped his case after learning he’d had an off-the-record conversation with Fox News’ Sean Hannity, was not allowed to leave Seminole County Jail on Friday.
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