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George Zimmerman has been released from a Florida jail at midnight this morning after posting $150,000 bond. Charged with second-degree murder, he will now be living in a secret location as he awaits trial for the death of Trayvon Martin.

Zimmerman exited the John E. Polk Correctional Facility (JEPCF) at the Seminole County Sheriff's Office fitted with an electronic monitoring device.

The GPS device, which can pinpoint an offender's whereabouts at any given time, will be monitored by the SCSO and Seminole County Probation.

Reports indicate that he may be allowed to leave the state, which is unusual in a murder case, but is arguably necessary for his own security.

At his bond hearing on Friday morning, Judge Kenneth Lester agreed to allow George Zimmerman to post a $150,000 bond and leave jail pending trial.

The prosecution had argued that Zimmerman should be denied bail or that it should be set at $1 million, but Lester disagreed on both accounts.

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A judge granted bail for George Zimmerman at a hearing in Florida today, during which the defendant apologized to the family of Trayvon Martin.

Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester set bail at $150,000, but would not allow his release immediately, citing further discussions needed about the terms.

Lester said that Zimmerman must not contact the victim's family; must wear an ankle monitoring bracelet; and adhere to a 7 p.m.-6 a.m. curfew.

The hearing took place just a few hours after the release of a bloody photo of George Zimmerman's head taken the night of the now-infamous altercation.

Some say the photo could bolster his claim that Martin was the aggressor that night, and that he shot the teenager as an act of self-defense.

In any case, the presumption of innocence was enough to earn Zimmerman bail.

The judge's order also states that Zimmerman cannot be in possession of any firearms and must not consume alcohol or controlled substances.

Taking the stand briefly at the Seminole County Criminal Justice Center, Zimmerman addressed the parents of Martin, who were seated in court.

"I wanted to say that I am sorry for the loss of your son," he said.

"I did not know how old he was," he continued. "I thought he was a little bit younger than I am. And I did not know whether he was armed or not."

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A new photograph showing the bloodied back of George Zimmerman's head has surfaced, shedding new light on the controversial Trayvon Martin case.

Taken three minutes after he shot and killed Martin, the image gives possible credence to his claim that he fought for his life and acted in self-defense.

The revelation comes as his lawyer and prosecutors prepare for Zimmerman's first bail hearing today, which could result in his being released from jail.

Zimmerman, 28, is being held on charges of second-degree murder for the February 26 shooting of Martin, 17 which could carry a life sentence if convicted.

The graphic image, first obtained by ABC news, shows blood trickling down the back of George Zimmerman's head from two cuts after the altercation.

It also shows a possible contusion forming on the crown of his head.

Though the police video, taken hours after the shooting, did not show any obvious injuries, the original police report that night notes that the back of Zimmerman's head was wet, and that he was bleeding from the nose and head.

Zimmerman told police that night that he shot and killed Trayvon Martin in self-defense after Martin punched him, pounced on him and threatened him.

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Bill Cosby has weighed in on the Trayvon Martin case, but NOT on the subject of race.

The famed comedian told the Washington Times that firearms in the wrong hands are the problem, and that neighborhood watch volunteers like George Zimmerman, who shot and killed the unarmed teen, should not be allowed to carry guns.

"We've got to get the gun out of the hands of people who are supposed to be on neighborhood watch," Cosby said in his first public remarks about the case.

Bill Cosby Pic

"Without a gun, I don't see Mr. Zimmerman approaching Trayvon by himself," Cosby added. "The power-of-the-gun mentality had this man feeling unafraid to confront someone. Even police call for backup in similar situations.

"When you carry a gun, you mean to harm somebody, kill somebody."

The Cosby Show star's remarks were immediately circulated on the Web, including some sites that take issue with Cosby's pinpointing a gun as the problem.

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The controversial Trayvon Martin case has inspired protests, PSAs, debate, anger, prayer and vigils for the slain 17-year-old from coast to coast.

Now Wyclef Jean has penned his own musical tribute to Trayvon.

The Fugees musician teamed up with Prescribed and J. Williams to create a track titled "Justice (If You're 17)" in dedication to Martin. Listen:

Some lyrical excerpts from Wyclef's call for "Justice" include:

"If you're 17 / And you're wearing a hoodie / You're on the phone / Talking to your shorty / Make no mistake / There's one like you / In every city / You know the story."

"If you're 17 with a hoodie on / Watch out for the neighborhood watcher / If you're at the right neighborhood at the wrong time / Neighborhood watcher / This might be your last call to your girlfriend / The neighborhood watcher / Man I feel for you if you're 17."

This past week saw George Zimmerman charged with murder in the February 26 shooting of Martin, following more than a month of unrest.

Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch captain in Sanford, Fla., claims he killed Martin in self-defense and that the teen was the aggressor.

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George Zimmerman made his first court appearance since being officially charged with second-degree murder in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.

Zimmerman wore a gray prison jumpsuit and spoke only to answer "Yes, sir," after being asked questions about the charge against him and his lawyer.

His hair was shaved down to stubble and he sported a thin goatee, which appeared consistent with his booking photo from the day before (below).

George Zimmerman Mugshot

He resurfaced Wednesday to turn himself in after weeks in hiding. Meanwhile, a new document provided additional details on the prosecution's case.

Judge Mark E. Herr said he found probable cause to move forward with the case and an arraignment would be held on May 29 before another judge.

The affidavit of probable cause prepared by prosecutors shed some light on why they chose to charge Zimmerman in the February 26 shooting.

The Orlando Sentinel says that on that night, Trayvon Martin's mother identified screams heard in the background of a 911 call as her son's.

There were doubts as to whether Martin or Zimmerman called for help.

Prosecutors interviewed a friend of Martin's who was talking to him just before the shooting. Martin told the witness he was being followed and was scared.

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George Zimmerman will face criminal charges in the death of Trayvon Martin.

According to a senior law enforcement quoted by CNN, CBS, ABC, NBC and the Associated Press, the neighborhood watch captain in Sanford, Fla., will be charged criminally in the February 26 case that has captivated the nation.

A legal analyst said earlier that the most likely charge would be manslaughter, but it was just announced that Zimmerman faces second-degree murder charges.

George Zimmerman Picture

A press conference announcing the decision took place at 6 p.m. Wednesday.

Angela Corey, the special prosecutor appointed by Florida Gov. Rick Scott to look into the incident, stated earlier that she would not take the case to a grand jury.

That automatically ruled out first-degree murder as an option, but the second-degree murder charge was still on the table - and ultimately what Corey decided.

“I can tell you we absolutely did not come to this decision lightly,” Corey told reporters moments ago. “We do not prosecute by public pressure.”

Zimmerman is in custody, Corey confirmed, though she gave no additional details. CNN reports that he surrendered to local officials earlier today.

Lawyers for Zimmerman, 28, stepped down from the case Tuesday, saying he'd become uncommunicative and expressing concern for his emotional and physical well-being.

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The special prosecutor investigating the shooting death of Trayvon Martin ruled out using a grand jury in the case, meaning her office alone will decide whether or not to charge the teenager's killer, George Zimmerman, with a crime.

Florida Governor Rick Scott appointed Angela Corey, a seasoned state attorney based in Jacksonville, to take over the Trayvon Martin case as special prosecutor.

"State Attorney Angela Corey has decided not to use a grand jury in the Trayvon Martin shooting death investigation," her office said in a statement.

"At this time, the investigation continues and there will be no further comment." It's very much unclear when a decision will be reached in the case.

  • Trayvon Martin, Hoodie
  • George Zimmerman Picture

Martin's death has captured national attention because of racial profiling and Florida's controversial self-defense laws, prompting demonstrations across the U.S.

The unarmed Martin, 17, was black and Zimmerman, 28, the neighborhood watchman who has not been charged with a crime, is white and Hispanic.

A demonstration Monday temporarily shut down the police department in Sanford, Fla., the epicenter of the case and where the shooting took place.

Sanford police declined to arrest Zimmerman after the shooting, saying they found no evidence to contradict his account that he acted in self-defense.

Police cited Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law, which allows people to use deadly force against adversaries when they fear great bodily harm or death.

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A version of the 911 tape of George Zimmerman reporting suspicious behavior by Trayvon Martin before killing him was edited, NBC admitted this week.George Zimmerman Picture

It wasn't doctored - his words were left intact - but it's what we didn’t hear that sheds light on the ultimately fatal Martin-Zimmerman confrontation.

On March 27, NBC’s Today Show aired Zimmerman’s call to the police, featuring these words: “This guy looks like he's up to no good … he looks black.”

The recording went viral, no doubt shaping public bias against Zimmerman. But it turns out Today shortened, and thus altered the meaning of, the call:

Here is the fuller version of the recording:

    Zimmerman: "This guy looks like he's up to no good. Or like he's on drugs or something. It's raining and he's just walking around, looking about."
    911 dispatcher: "OK, and this guy ... is he black, white or Hispanic?"
    Zimmerman: [pauses] "He looks black."

George Zimmerman’s actions February 26 remain dubious, and may still lead to criminal charges. Edited or not, the call still obviously shows he was told not to follow Martin that night, and his self-defense claim is highly questionable.

But, right now, he has not been charged.

Moreover, his description of Martin came only in response to a dispatcher's question. Was this racial profiling? Maybe. But the media dropped the ball.

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In the wake of the Trayvon Martin case an his own experiences, Tyler Perry has called for federal agents to take racial profiling seriously as a potential hate crime.

The Good Deeds director took to Facebook to discuss Martin, who was shot and killed in Florida in February by neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman.

Moreover, Perry alleges he was pulled over in L.A. late one night for an illegal turn, reprimanded for having tinted windows, and realized he was in big trouble.

Tyler Perry writes on his official page:

Tyler Perry Image

“My mother would always say to me, ‘if you get stopped by the police, especially if they are white policemen, you say ‘yes sir’ and ‘no sir’, and if they want to take you in, you go with them. Don’t resist, you hear me?"

"Don’t make any quick moves, don’t run, just go.’ It wasn’t until after I heard her voice that I realized that both officers were white… I didn’t feel safe at all."

"At this point, I told him (the arresting officer) that I wanted to get out of the car. I wanted the passersby to see what was happening.”

However, once a black officer pulled up at the scene and recognized Perry, the officials apologized and let him go. But the incident has stayed with him.

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