George Zimmerman was found not guilty of murder in the killing of Trayvon Martin, but that doesn’t make the 29-year-old a free man.
Zimmerman’s bail was returned shortly after the verdict, allowing him to leave custody a free man. However, much like Casey Anthony, the former neighborhood watch captain will probably return to hiding.
USA Today reports that Robert Zimmerman Jr., George’s brother, spoke to the media after the verdict, saying, “He will be looking around his shoulder for the rest of his life.”
George Zimmerman has been either in jail or in hiding for over a year, and that is unlikely to change anytime soon. His lawyers confirmed the situation after the verdict was read, saying that “several fringe groups” refused to accept the verdict.
Defense lawyer Don West added at a press conference, “This is something that will follow George Zimmerman forever and ever and ever.”
And if the Casey Anthony case is anything to go on, he will. Anthony was acquitted of killing her young daughter, Caylee, in 2011, but has only emerged from hiding for bankruptcy court.
And the first hurdle George Zimmerman will face is leaving the courthouse after his ankle monitor is removed and he signs his final papers. Demonstrators outside the courthouse exclaimed in disbelief when they heard the verdict. Several irate protesters changed, “The system has failed!”
In the past, Zimmerman never disclosed where he was hiding to the court and only ventured outside in a disguise with body armor to aid him, just in case. CNN notes that, before the verdict was read, attorney Mark O’Mara stated:
“I believe his life is at risk, and I don’t say that for dramatic effect. There are a lot of people who think George killed Trayvon Martin for racial reasons, even though nothing supports that. And if they feel that anger enough, they could react violently.”
The city of Sanford, Florida, was preparing for possible riots after George Zimmerman was declared innocent. It is unclear how long it will be before Zimmerman actually feels free.