SANFORD, Fla. - George Zimmerman is getting out of jail. Now his defense team has to worry about keeping the neighborhood watch volunteer accused of gunning down Trayvon Martin safe on the outside.
Defense attorneys for other high-profile clients who awaited trial on bail had advice for how to protect the man whose shooting of the unarmed black 17-year-old sparked nationwide protests: Get him out of Florida, keep him from going out in public and never leave him alone.
"He clearly puts himself in jeopardy unless he takes precautions," said New York attorney Barry Slotnick, who represented subway shooter Bernhard Goetz in the 1980s.
A half dozen reporters, photographers and cameramen began staking out the Seminole County Jail early today in Sanford, a day after a Florida judge agreed to let Zimmerman out on $150,000 bail. Zimmerman's attorney, Mark O'Mara, said it would take a few days before Zimmerman is released. His family needs time to secure collateral for the bail, Zimmerman needs to be fitted with an electronic monitoring device and O'Mara said he must find a secure location for him.
Zimmerman appeared to be wearing a bulletproof vest under his charcoal suit, and his wife and parents testified by telephone instead of in the courtroom because they said they've been threatened and feared for their safety. His wife, Shellie Zimmerman, testified she had received hate mail.
Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester on Friday indicated that Zimmerman would be allowed to leave Florida if arrangements can be made with law enforcement to have him monitored out of state.