Early Monday morning, George Zimmerman was released from the Seminole County jail (View Video). The 28-year-old neighborhood watch volunteer who shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in February was granted bail at $150,000 on Friday.
Zimmerman, who made no comment to reporters, was escorted from jail by his bondsman, Michael Smith of Magic Bail Bonds, before he got into the backseat of a BMW and was driven away. His location is not being made public and may be outside Florida following numerous death threats. Outfitted with a GPS monitoring device, Zimmerman is required to maintain a 7 p.m.-to-6 a.m. curfew, surrender his passport, refrain from drugs or alcohol and have no guns.
Although his arraignment has been scheduled for May 8, Zimmerman may not appear as most defendants with private attorneys file pleas in advance and choose not to appear before the judge. Additionally, a hearing is scheduled for Friday regarding evidence being released to the public; Zimmerman is not expected to appear.
The parents of Trayvon Martin published a “Card of Thanks” on The Miami Herald obituary page, thanking those who supported their efforts in urging authorities to arrest Zimmerman. In the ad, Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin say they “wish to express their heartfelt appreciation for all your words of encouragement, your peaceful rally support, the millions who signed petitions, poems, paintings, music and video tributes, monetary gifts to our defense fund and all other acts of kindness shown to them during this difficult time.” The card of thanks shows a photo of Trayvon wearing a hoodie.