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Nick R. Martin

Nick Martin is an associate editor at TPM in New York City. He came to the site in 2011 as a reporter for TPMMuckraker. Previously, he worked in Arizona, first as a staff reporter for a local newspaper and later as a freelance journalist. He also ran the news blog Heat City. Contact him at nick@talkingpointsmemo.com

Articles by Nick

An attorney for the parents of Trayvon Martin said the family was shaken and upset by an apologetic statement given on the witness stand Friday morning by the man charged with killing their son.

Attorney Benjamin Crump said that father Tracy Martin was particularly upset that the defendant, George Zimmerman, was allowed to take the stand and make the statement.

"All throughout the hearing, Tracy Martin had tears in his eyes as he watched the killer of his son," Crump said. "And it was devastating that he got to give a self-serving apology to help him get a bond. They were outraged about that."

Crump said that the family had declined to meet with Zimmerman before the hearing.

"It was very painful," he said.

Florida Judge Kenneth Lester Jr., ruled on Friday morning that he would allow George Zimmerman to be released on $150,000 bond as he awaits trial in the killing of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin.

The judge also ruled that Zimmerman would have to submit to electronic monitoring after his release. Lester said Zimmerman would not be released on Friday, but he could be released after authorities were able to coordinate the conditions.

Zimmerman was also ordered to have no contact with Martin's family, to abstain from alcohol and have no contact with any firearms during his release.

The judge left it up to Florida prosecutors about whether Zimmerman would be allowed to leave the state during his release.

Zimmerman's attorney had asked for his client to be released on $15,000 bond. Prosecutors asked that Zimmerman be held in jail without bond or else released only on $1 million bond.

Florida prosecutors on Friday morning asked for George Zimmerman to be held in jail without bond until his second-degree murder trial in the killing of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin.

Alternately, the prosecutors asked that he only be released after putting up $1 million for bond.

George Zimmerman's attorney, Mark O'Mara, on Friday morning asked for his client to be released on $15,000 bond.

He also asked that Zimmerman, who has been charged with second-degree murder in the killing of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin, be allowed to leave the state of Florida and that his location be kept under "extreme secrecy," though he agreed to let his client be tracked by GPS.

An investigator for the Florida prosecutor's office who testified Friday morning in a Florida courtroom said George Zimmerman appeared to be injured when police arrived on scene shortly after the Feb. 26 killing of Trayvon Martin.

"His injuries are consistent with trauma to the back of his head," investigator Dale Gilbreath said. "There is two lacerations to the back of his head."

George Zimmerman took the witness stand at his own bond hearing Friday morning in a Florida courtroom and said he was sorry to the parents of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed teenager he killed on Feb. 26 in what he claims was an act of self defense.

"I wanted to say I am sorry for the loss of your son," Zimmerman said. "I did not know how old he was. I thought he was a little bit younger than I am. And I did not know that he was armed or not."

Update, 12:25 p.m.: After the hearing, an attorney for Martin's family said they were "outraged" that Zimmerman was allowed to make the statement.

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An investigator with a Florida prosecutor's office said on Friday morning that he doesn't know whether it was George Zimmerman or Trayvon Martin who started the fight that resulted in Martin's death on Feb. 26.

Zimmerman's defense attorney Mark O'Mara asked investigator Dale Gilbreath about the evidence that had been gathered in the case.

"Do you know who started the fight?" O'Mara said.

"Do I know? No," Gilbreath replied.

"Do you have any evidence as to who may have started the fight?"

"No."

An investigator for a Florida prosecutor's office testified on Friday morning that he has no additional evidence to show that George Zimmerman was the one who confronted Trayvon Martin on Feb. 26.

Investigator Dale Gilbreath said he and his fellow investigator, T.C. O'Steen, relied on the 911 call that Zimmerman made before the confrontation along with an interview five weeks after the fact with one of Martin's friends who said she was on the phone with Martin when the incident began.

Zimmerman's attorney asked Gilbreath several times whether there was anything else to prove that Zimmerman "confronted" Martin, as the investigators wrote in a sworn affidavit filed April 11 with the 18th Judicial Circuit Court in Florida.

"You have nothing to support the confrontation suggestion?" defense attorney Mark O'Mara said.

"I don't know," Gilbreath said. "I think I've answered the question."

Investigator Dale Gilbreath with the Florida prosecutor's office took the witness stand in the George Zimmerman bond hearing on Friday morning and said he came with no evidence or documents that would help back his testimony.

"I was not planning on testifying," he told Zimmerman's defense attorney Mark O'Mara, who called him to the witness stand.

George Zimmerman's mother said on Friday morning that her son had a history of defending others and standing up for justice before he killed unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin.

During Zimmerman's bond hearing in a Florida courtroom, his mother, Gladys Zimmerman, described an incident in which her son tried to help find the suspect who beat a homeless man in Sanford, Fla.

"In 2010, he saw — well, he didn't saw, but he found out that homeless person was being beaten by another man here in Sanford," Gladys Zimmerman said. "He went to churches. He put flyers on cars. He did everything possible so the city of Sanford will organize and go to the council and ask for justice for this homeless man who was beaten up."

She said that wasn't unusual for her son.

"That was George. That was my son," she said. "And there are probably tapes in the Sanford council when he went and organized a meeting so that person would have justice. He was recognized also by the mayor."

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