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Zimmerman makes first court appearance

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Judge Mark Herr affirmed the second-degree murder charges filed against George Zimmerman, 28, at a hearing in Sanford, FL. (Source: CNN) Judge Mark Herr affirmed the second-degree murder charges filed against George Zimmerman, 28, at a hearing in Sanford, FL. (Source: CNN)
Trayvon Martin, 17, was killed by a single gunshot wound to the chest. (Source: Jerome Horton/CNN) Trayvon Martin, 17, was killed by a single gunshot wound to the chest. (Source: Jerome Horton/CNN)

(RNN) - The neighborhood watch captain who admitted to shooting and killing a Florida teen made his first appearance in court Thursday, almost six weeks after the shooting.

Judge Mark Herr affirmed the second-degree murder charges filed against George Zimmerman, 28, at a hearing in Sanford, FL, dressed in a dark blue jumpsuit and handcuffs. The hearing was only about a minute long.

A hearing could be held on April 20 to determine his eligibility to post bail and leave jail, according to Zimmerman's new lawyer, Mark O'Mara, who asked the judge to seal some of the documents in the case, including the charging affidavit. Herr denied the request.

The charging affidavit was released Thursday afternoon, with little new information.

The affidavit, filed by prosecutors, says Zimmerman followed Martin, ignoring the direction of the emergency operator, and confronted the unarmed teen before shooting him. The affidavit goes on to say that Martin was on the phone with a friend, and told her he was being followed.

It says screams heard on a 911 call were identified by Martin's mother, Sybrina Fulton, as made by her son.

A CNN legal analyst said the prosecutor painted Zimmerman as the "pursuer" and aggressor.

Zimmerman remains in jail on Thursday.  Herr did not set bail, and O'Mara said he had no intention of bringing up the issue at the hearing.

"It would only increase the fervor around the case," said O'Mara, who plans to file a bond motion before Zimmerman's arraignment May 29.

Judge Jessica Recksiedler will preside over the case in future hearings.

Zimmerman's first appearance came on the same day Fulton made comments that suggested  she believed her son's death was an accident.

"I believe it got out of control and he couldn't turn the clock back," she said on the Today show. 

However, she later released a statement clarifying her comments, saying she meant that the only accident in the case was the fact that Zimmerman and her son had ever met.

"My son was profiled, followed and murdered by George Zimmerman, and there was nothing accidental about that," she said.

When asked by reporters about Fulton's comments, O'Mara said the shooting was "obviously... a horrible intersection of two young men's lives."

O'Mara also said he would consider a plea deal for his client, although he had yet to see the evidence in the case.

"We're not taking any possibilities off the table as far as how this case gets settled," O'Mara said.

O'Mara said Zimmerman was tired and frightened, especially with all the media attention surrounding him since the shooting.

"I can interact with him," he said, "I think he's in a good place."

Zimmerman could face life in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.

Copyright 2012 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.

Trayvon Martin (SIDEBAR)

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SLIDESHOW: Outrage over Trayvon Martin case Trayvon Martin, 17, was shot and killed last month by George Zimmerman, self-appointed captain of an unofficial neighborhood watch, while walking to his father's. More>>

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