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“His face was swollen quite a bit. He had a protective cover over his nose. His lip was swollen and cut. And there were two vertical gashes on the back of his head,” Robert Zimmerman testified.

Zimmerman’s mother, Gladys, said her son was “very protective” of vulnerable people such as the homeless and children. She described how he got involved in a mentoring program for children in Orlando, noting that both of the children he mentored were African-American like Martin.

Gladys Zimmerman said she was concerned about her son’s safety in that program because he traveled twice a month to a dangerous neighborhood.

“He said, ‘Mom, if I don’t go, they don’t have nobody,’” Gladys Zimmerman said.

Prosecutor Bernardo de la Rionda asked the family members about two incidents. In 2005, George Zimmerman had to take anger management courses after an undercover law enforcement officer accused him of attacking him as he tried to arrest Zimmerman’s friend. In another incident, a girlfriend accused Zimmerman of attacking her. No charges were filed.

The hearing provided a few glimpses into the evidence amassed by investigators, and in some cases evidence they do not have.

Dale Gilbreath, an investigator for the state attorney’s office, testified that he does not know whether Martin or Zimmerman threw the first punch and that there is no evidence to disprove Zimmerman’s contention that he was walking back to his vehicle when confronted by Martin.

Gilbreath also said evidence does not back up parts of Zimmerman’s story, such as his claim that Martin was slamming his head against a sidewalk just before he pulled out his handgun and shot the teenager.

“That is not consistent with the evidence we found,” said Gilbreath, who did not provide details.

Zimmerman asked to meet with Trayvon Martin’s parents before the hearing, but the family’s lawyers said this was not the time.

“We believe (the) Zimmerman request is very self-serving, considering the timing of it 50 days later, right before his bond hearing,” said Justin R. Campbell — an assistant to attorney Benjamin Crump — in an email Thursday.

Legal experts had earlier predicted Zimmerman would likely be granted bail. Key factors include his ties to the local community and that he doesn’t appear to be a flight risk since he turned himself in voluntarily after he was charged last week. He also has never been convicted of a serious crime, which would indicate he doesn’t pose a threat to society.

“Although it’s not routine for people charged with murder to get bond, they do get bond, and I think there is an excellent argument to be made in his specific case for him to be released on bond,” said defense attorney Randy McClean, who practices in Seminole County, about 15 miles northeast of Orlando.

Kim Cannaday, a spokeswoman for the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office, said she couldn’t comment on what security procedures would be in place for Zimmerman if he is released. The sheriff’s office does have the ability to monitor defendants outside the county if a judge requests a GPS monitor be used as a condition of release.

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