George Zimmerman was released on $150,000 bail from a county jail in Florida around midnight Sunday as he awaits trial on charges of second-degree murder in the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin.
As he left, Mr. Zimmerman was wearing a brown jacket and blue jeans and carrying a paper bag. He followed a man, who was also carrying bags, into a white vehicle and drove away, according to The Associated Press.
His destination was being kept secret for his protection and could be outside of Florida.
The release was a rare low-key moment in a case that has captured feverish national interest in recent weeks. No questions were shouted at Mr. Zimmerman as he left and he gave no statement, The A.P. said.
Last week, Mr. Zimmerman’s lawyer, Mark O’Mara, said his client would remain in jail for several days until arrangements were made for financing his bond and finding a secure location. Mr. Zimmerman has received death threats.
During a hearing last week, a Seminole County Circuit Court judge set the bail and imposed a series of restrictions on Mr. Zimmerman’s release. He was not to contact the Martin family or witnesses to the shooting. The judge, Kenneth R. Lester Jr., also set a curfew requiring Mr. Zimmerman to remain at home from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. and banned access to alcohol or firearms. The judge also stipulated that Mr. Zimmerman’s movements be monitored with an electronic bracelet.
The bail figure was considerably less severe than prosecutors’ request for no bail or $1 million.
The Mr. Martin, 17, was shot and killed on Feb. 26 while walking through the gated community where he was staying and where Mr. Zimmerman was a neighborhood watch volunteer. The case roused a national uproar, including many demonstrations across the country, as weeks passed without Mr. Zimmerman’s arrest. He was taken into custody earlier this month.
During the hearing, members of Mr. Zimmerman’s family, including his wife, Shellie, testified by telephone out of concern for their safety. They told the judge that they would monitor Mr. Zimmerman’s whereabouts and notify authorities if they lost contact with him for any reason before his trial.
Taking the stand briefly at the bail hearing, Mr. Zimmerman apologized to the Martin family. He wore a dark suit, with cuffs around his hands and shackles at his feet and waist.
“I wanted to say I am sorry for the loss of your son,” he said in a soft voice. “I did not know how old he was. I thought he was a little bit younger than I am. And I did not know if he was armed or not.”
A lawyer for the Martin family, Benjamin Crump, called the apology “self-serving” and said he considered it a ploy designed to curry favor with the court and the public and to help secure a release from jail.