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Defense lawyer describes George Zimmerman as "calm, but upset"; Zimmerman released on $9,000 bond

4:47 PM, Nov 19, 2013   |    comments
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George Zimmerman in his first court appearance after he was arrested, accused of threatening with his live-in girlfriend with a shotgun.


Sanford, Florida -- George Zimmerman was released from jail on Tuesday after posting $9,000 bond, following his arrest a day earlier in which he was accused of pointing a gun at his live-in girlfriend Samantha Scheibe.

Zimmerman, 30, appeared in front of Judge Fred Schott at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday for his aggravated assault, battery and criminal mischief charges following the domestic violence incident with Scheibe.

Judge Schott said he thought deputies had probable cause to arrest Zimmerman. He also ordered that Zimmerman must no contact with Scheibe and to stay away from her home on Topfield Court.

Also under condition of his bond, Zimmerman will not be allowed to possess weapons, must be equipped with an ankle monitor and cannot leave the state of Florida.

Typically a 10 percent down payment would be needed for Zimmerman's release, which would be $900.

Before the court hearing, Zimmerman's new attorney told 10 News that according to guidelines, his client should have received a $4,900 bond.

"He's legally entitled to a bond," said Jeff Dowdy, who leads the Seminole County Public Defender's Office.

Zimmerman was arrested on Monday, charged with threatening Scheibe with a shotgun.

See also: Zimmerman arrested, 911 calls paint contrasting pictures

Dowdy says he spoke with Zimmerman for about 45 minutes Tuesday morning, and that his client understands the charges brought against him.

"Obviously, he doesn't like it and he wants to get out," said Dowdy.

Dowdy said Zimmerman already has a place to live if he is released, but would not publish the addresses. "We have two locations in Central Florida he can stay at," said Dowdy.

Asked whether they would battle the Sheriff's office request for an ankle monitor, Dowdy said no. "We're not opposed to that," he said. "He's not a flight risk."

MORE: Judge to decide if Zimmerman is released on bail

Dowdy said Zimmerman would be asking for the public defender's office to represent him in this case, claiming massive debt. "I think $2.5 million. I've not verified that, I haven't seen it," said Dowdy.

Zimmerman had been receiving donations, but Dowdy believes the debt is from still-outstanding legal fees.

Dowdy described Zimmerman as calm, but upset.

If convicted of these latest charges, Zimmerman -- who was acquitted earlier this year in the death of Trayvon Martin -- could face up to five years in jail, but faces a mandatory three years since it involved a firearm.

Zimmerman's next court appearance is scheduled for January 7, 2014.

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