After apologizing to the family of Trayvon Martin and posting $150,000 bail, accused murderer George Zimmerman walked out of a Florida county jail at midnight on Sunday with an electronic tracking device around his ankle and an attempt by his supporters to claim that his life may be in danger.
Zimmerman’s release came as the Internet was abuzz with rumors that the right-wing business titans the Koch brothers provided the funds for Zimmerman’s bail. Accompanying the rumors were calls across the web to boycott the wide variety of paper and energy companies and products owned by the Koch brothers, Charles and David, whose $98 billion company is the second largest privately held company in the country. The brothers, who have become infamous in liberal circles for their financing of Republican politicians and causes, such as opposition to President Obama’s healthcare reform, issued a statement through their company denying any involvement in Zimmerman’s case. The following is an excerpt from a statement released on the website kochfacts.com, which calls itself “a repository for media responses and factual information presented by Koch Industries, Inc.”
“Contrary to an irresponsible rumor that began circulating online on April 18, Koch has no involvement whatsoever with the defense of George Zimmerman, the defendant in the Trayvon Martin case. The exact origin of that rumor remains to be seen but similar falsehoods made by partisan activists in recent days have intentionally sown confusion about Koch.”
Zimmerman was able to gain his release on bail primarily because of his lack of a criminal record, according to legal experts. Though he has been accused in the past of two different crimes, neither one ultimately resulted in charges being filed—in 2005 he was accused of attacking an undercover officer trying to arrest his friend and in another case a girlfriend accused him of assaulting her.
Zimmerman, who was charged with second-degree murder in the killing death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin on Feb. 26, was told by Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester on Friday that he cannot have any guns and must not leave his dwelling between 7 p.m. and 6 a.m. He also had to surrender his passport.
According to the bail rules, Zimmerman was able to gain his release from jail Sunday night after putting up just 10 percent of the $150,000, which amounts to $15,000.