Tuesday, January 16, 2018
Public safety

Zimmerman probe on hold until evidence surfaces

LAKE MARY — The investigation of a domestic dispute between George Zimmerman and his estranged wife is on hold because there is no clear evidence to charge anyone and neither side wants to press the case, a Lake Mary police spokesman said Wednesday.

That could change if new evidence surfaces or technicians are able to extract video that recorded the dispute from Shellie Zimmerman's smashed iPad, said Officer Zach Hudson. Law enforcement analysts are having difficulty obtaining the video because the iPad is in bad shape, he said.

The dispute took place Monday, just days after Shellie Zimmerman filed divorce papers. In the papers, Zimmerman, 26, said she had separated from her husband a month after he was acquitted in the 2012 fatal shooting death of unarmed black teen Trayvon Martin.

A police report on the dispute that was released Wednesday shed light on how it started.

Shellie Zimmerman, accompanied by her father and a friend, was removing belongings from the couple's house when George Zimmerman, who still lives there, arrived and began taking photos of her, the report said. The house is owned by Shellie Zimmerman's parents.

George Zimmerman recorded the items she removed from the house and also the belongings she had placed in her father's truck, the report said.

Zimmerman said his wife was "taking property that was not agreed upon, and he began taking pictures and recording the items," the report said.

Shellie Zimmerman then took her iPad and started recording her husband taking photos of her, authorities said. George Zimmerman went into the house and locked the front door.

What happened next is in dispute.

Shellie Zimmerman told investigators she heard her father screaming from the garage. Her father, David Dean, told her that Zimmerman had hit him in the face, the report said. She said her husband then smashed her iPad.

During a 911 call, she also told police that George Zimmerman was threatening her and her father with a gun. Later, however, she said she had not seen a gun. Police said they found no gun, but that Shellie Zimmerman's father "did have a swollen red mark on the bridge of his nose."

At a news conference late Wednesday, Shellie Zimmerman was with her attorney, Kelly Sims but didn't answer any questions about what happened.

Sims said Shellie Zimmerman found packaging for a new holster in the trash that day and has always known George Zimmerman to carry a gun.

"Bottom line, Shellie had every reason to believe there was a gun," Sims said.

In the report, George Zimmerman told investigators that his wife had told him she was done picking up her belongings. He said he locked the front door and went to the garage to close it when Shellie Zimmerman's father confronted him, according to the report.

Both sides are refusing to press charges, but Florida law allows police officers to arrest someone for domestic violence without the consent of the victim.

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