George Zimmerman in his first court appearance after he was arrested, accused of threatening with his live-in girlfriend with a shotgun.
Sanford, FL -- George Zimmerman is suicidal, say prosecutors, and poses a danger to himself and the girlfriend he's accused of pointing a shotgun at on Monday.
That was the stunning accusation made by prosecutors, but the judge set bond at $9,000 and so Zimmerman was able to walk out of Seminole County jail at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Prosecutors say Zimmerman tried to strangle his live-in girlfriend, Samantha Scheibe, during another unreported fight they had over a week ago, and accused him of being suicidal.
All the more reason, prosecutors said, that Scheibe fears for her own life.
"I do find probable cause for all three allegations," said Judge Fred Schott, referring to Monday's charges.
Scheibe called 911 from the apartment she and Zimmerman were sharing in nearby Apopka. She claimed Zimmerman had pointed a shotgun at her and forced her out of the house.
On Tuesday, prosecutors added that the couple had another unreported fight about 10 days ago, and during that confrontation, Zimmerman allegedly choked Scheibe.
"She indicated that they had been discussing breaking up. He also has mentioned suicide in the recent past, due to those factors and the defendant indicating at the time he was threatening to commit suicide... that he had nothing to lose," said Assistant District Attorney Lymary Munoz.
Those disturbing allegations led Judge Fred Schott to impose a $9,000 bond on Zimmerman. He also ordered him to have no contact with Scheibe, and stay away from her two most common addresses. He also was forbidden to travel outside the state and could not possess guns or ammunition.
"That's in part for her safety and in part for your own safety, it may seem like," said the judge.
Additionally, Zimmerman must wear an electronic ankle bracelet to monitor his movements. His attorneys tried to play down the prosecutor's newest allegation against their client.
"I would not characterize him as the state attorney said as 'suicidal' and 'volatile.' We did not get that impression," said Daniel Megaro, Asst. Public Defender.
But they do say Zimmerman is broke, still in massive debt due to legal fees and more.
Jeff Dowdy, the Chief Public Defender, said it's a huge number.
"I think $2.5 million," said Dowdy.
His lawyers say Zimmerman's family would pay his bond. He was released about three hours later.
Judge Schott told Zimmerman that despite his notoriety, he was doing his best to treat him as he would any other person brought up on similar charges, and Zimmerman thanked him for that.
If convicted on these charges, Zimmerman faces up to five years in prison with a minimum of three, because of the weapons charge.
His next court hearing is scheduled for January 7th.