During the bond hearing today in his second-degree murder trial for the Feb. 26 death of Trayvon Martin, George Zimmerman said something in his testimony that is clearly contradicted by his original call to police on the night of the shooting. After his attorney Mark O'Mara told the court that Zimmerman wanted to make a statement, Zimmerman took the stand and made brief comments directed at Martin's parents, Tracy Martin and Sabryna Fulton, who were present in the courtroom. He said:
I wanted to say I am sorry for the loss of your son. I did not know if he was armed or not. I did not know how old he was. I thought he was a little bit younger than I am.
Since Zimmerman is 28, this statement indicates he thought Martin was in his mid 20s.
That's not what he told a police dispatcher when he called to report a suspicious person in his neighborhood minutes before the fatal incident. Here's the relevant part of the call transcript:
Zimmerman: Yeah, now he's coming towards me. He's got his hands in his waist band. And he's a black male.
911 dispatcher: OK How old would you say he is?
Zimmerman: He's got something on his shirt. About like his late teens.
911 dispatcher: Late teens?
Zimmerman: Uh, huh.
Zimmerman correctly identified Martin, who was 17 when he died, as someone in his late teens.
The prosecutor, Bernie de la Rionda, did not point out this discrepancy to Zimmerman while he was on the stand, but in another question he claimed that there were inconsistencies in what Zimmerman told police that night about the shooting. The prosecutor could not elaborate on what he meant because O'Mara objected and the judge sustained the objection.
After O'Mara asked for $15,000 bond and De la Rionda sought that it either be denied or set at $1 million, Judge Kenneth Lester set bond at $150,000 with GPS monitoring and other conditions.