ORLANDO, Fla. — After spending a week in a jail cell by himself, the neighborhood watch volunteer charged with murdering Trayvon Martin stands a good chance of being granted bail today, despite the severity of the second-degree murder charge he faces.
Whether George Zimmerman is allowed to leave the county as he awaits trial — and how he would remain safe — are two questions likely to be at the center of the hearing at the Seminole County Criminal Justice Center, legal experts said.
“Although it’s not routine for people charged with murder to get bond, they do get bond, and I think there is an excellent argument to be made in his specific case for him to be released on bond,” said defense attorney Randy McClean, who practices in Seminole County, about 15 miles northeast of Orlando.
Zimmerman has several factors in his favor.
For one, he has ties to the community, including family members who are expected to testify by telephone on his behalf at today’s hearing.
He turned himself in voluntarily after second-degree murder charges were filed against him last week, a good indication that he doesn’t pose a flight risk. He has never been convicted of a crime, which suggests that he doesn’t pose a threat to society, legal experts said.
“It’s hard for a prosecutor to argue he will leave, when up to this point he has been cooperative and everyone knows who he is,” said Stacey Honowitz, a veteran prosecutor in Broward County.