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George Zimmerman will be allowed to post bond for a second time as he awaits trial on a second-degree murder charge in the shooting death of Miami Gardens teen Trayvon Martin, a judge ruled Thursday. In a written ruling, Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester set Zimmerman's bond at $1 million, saying he "has flaunted the system." Prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda spoke about Zimmerman and his wife.
The attorneys for George Zimmerman say they're confident he'll be released on $1 million bond soon as donations continue to come into his defense fund.
Zimmerman has raised approximately $20,000 since Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester set the bond through a written order Thursday, his attorneys said in a posting Friday on gzlegalcase.com.
In the two months prior to the order setting bail, the fund had raised about $55,000, the posting said. Although they expect him to be released soon, the attorneys said they won't say when for security reasons.
"We are confident that Mr. Zimmerman will be released soon, although the exact time will not be revealed out of respect for the security concerns surrounding his release," the posting said.
They added that Zimmerman will be staying in a safe house since the terms of his release require that he stay within Seminole County. A more permanent secure location will be established later.
In his order setting bail, Lester said Zimmerman "flaunted the system" during an April hearing where his bond was set at $150,000.
Lester revoked Zimmerman's bond last month after prosecutors said he and his wife misled them about his finances during the April hearing. Zimmerman and his wife, Shellie, had raised around $135,000 at the time of the hearing but didn't disclose it, prosecutors said.
In his ruling, Lester said Zimmerman has "tried to manipulate the system when he has been presented the opportunity to do so."
"Contrary to the image presented by the Defendant not by evidence but only by argument of counsel, it appears to this Court that the Defendant is manipulating the system to his own benefit," Lester wrote. "The evidence is clear that the Defendant and his wife acted in concert, but primarily at the Defendant's direction, to conceal their cash holdings."
Shellie Zimmerman was arrested on a perjury charge and later bonded out of jail.
Zimmerman, 28, was arrested and charged in April in the shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, of Miami Gardens, on Feb. 26 in a gated community in Sanford. Zimmerman has pleaded not guilty and claims the shooting was self-defense.
If Zimmerman posts bond, he'll once again be subject to electronic monitoring, will have to follow a curfew and not consume alcohol, will have to check in with authorities every 48 hours and will not be able to leave Seminole County without prior authorization from the court.
Zimmerman's legal defense fund has about $211,000, but paying bond, defense expenses so far and scheduled expenses would effectively wipe out the current balance of the fund, his legal team said.
Martin's parents are scheduled to discuss the bond decision at a news conference Friday afternoon.