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George Zimmerman's Wife & Parents Testify In His Bail Hearing

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Apr. 20 2012, Published 3:00 p.m. ET

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By Staff

George Zimmerman is at the Seminole County Criminal Justice Center in Sanford, Florida for a bail hearing regarding the February 26 shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.

George's wife Shellie Zimmerman and his parents testified in his defense over the telephone and has all the details.

A shackled and clean-shaven Zimmerman is wearing a suit in court on Friday, which marks the first time he was in the same room with Trayvon Martin's, Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton. George reportedly asked for a private meeting with the parents, but they declined.

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Mark O'Mara, George's attorney, handed in his passport as an indication that his client would not be a flight risk.

George's wife of five years, Shellie — a 25-year-old nursing student with a cosmetology certificate — testified first, via phone as she was concerned for her safety. She told prosecutors she did not feel George was a threat when asked about past legal entanglements linked to separate assault incidents involving a police officer in 2005, and his ex-fiancee.

"He is absolutely not a violent person," she said.

Shellie said she's left the state in the wake of the shooting in fear of retribution, as she's received hate mail.

"I have not been with my husband since he has been in hiding," she said.

Next up was George's father Robert Zimmerman Sr., who said he was not financially secure for a high bail amount and would likely have to take a second mortgage of his house

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Asked about George's previous arrest, his father said he's never read the actual arrest report, but never questioned his son.

"I believe him because he's been honest his whole life," his father said, adding, "He's always been interested in criminal justice … I've never known him to be violent at all, unless he was provoked."

He said he's aware of a website that's raising money for George's defense, but has nothing to do with it. 

George Zimmerman

George's mother also testified over the phone and corroborated her husband's statements that the family did not have much money, sans the equity they have in their home. She said her son has always taken an altruistic approach in helping the homeless and young people — revealing that he has even mentored two African American kids.

The case has caused national controversy, as George was not arrested for 44 days following the shooting.

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George's legal team argued for bond to be set at $15,000 while the state asked for a $1 million bond to be set — however, the judge set the bond at $150,000 and said he will not be released today but when he is, GPS and electronic monitoring will be required.


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