SANFORD, Fla. (AP) — George Zimmerman must remain under 24-hour GPS monitoring while awaiting trial in the fatal shooting of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin and must stay in the county despite the defense’s concerns about his safety, a judge ruled Tuesday.
The defense presented a lengthy bond modification argument to Judge Debra Nelson that included Zimmerman’s probation officer testifying that the former neighborhood watch volunteer was complying with all terms of his release on a $1 million bond.
Following a rebuttal by the prosecutors, Nelson, without explanation, denied the request for modification of the bond terms.
Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder in the killing of 17-year-old Martin following an altercation in Sanford in February. He has pleaded not guilty, claiming self-defense under Florida’s “stand your ground” law.
Besides dropping the monitoring, the defense also wanted Zimmerman to be able to live outside the Seminole County jurisdiction where the shooting took place in because of what defense attorney Mark O’Mara said were ongoing concerns about his safety.
“I really want to try (the case) in the courtroom, and I’m ready to try it,” O’Mara said during his argument. “What I don’t want is my client not to make it to that courtroom.”
Prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda took issue with the contention that Zimmerman had genuine concern for his safety or that he needed to be completely released from monitoring to assist in his defense.
“My recollection is this defendant has appeared on national television…but there are so many threats against him and he’s so scared?” De la Rionda said. “He can’t have it both ways.”
In July, Zimmerman did a lengthy on-air interview with Sean Hannity from Fox News.
Zimmerman was previously granted permission to make limited travel to Orange County to meet his attorneys. That remains in place.