September 12, 2013

Damaged iPad leaves Zimmerman probe in limbo

By Kyle Hightower and Mike Schneider / The Associated Press

(Continued from page 1)

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George Zimmerman arrives in Seminole circuit court with his wife, Shellie, in this June 24, 2013, photo.

AP

Shellie Zimmerman's father threw down his glasses and charged his son-in-law, according to George Zimmerman's account. Shellie Zimmerman at some point hit her husband with her iPad, George Zimmerman told investigators.

Police officers asked George Zimmerman to remove his shirt so they could see if there were marks on his back. "There were no signs of trauma, redness or marks of any kind in the area where he said he was struck," the report said.

As many as seven people were at the house — friends of the Zimmermans — and they all have been questioned by investigators, Hudson said. The friends said they didn't see what happened, Hudson said, and footage from the house's surveillance cameras was inconclusive.

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.

Lake Mary police investigators are hoping video from the iPad will allow them to determine if charges should be filed.

Hudson said Wednesday that because investigators don't currently have the necessary tools to extract the video, it could be several weeks or months before the video can be analyzed — and even then they aren't making any promises. The iPad's chip also suffered some damage, Hudson said.

Without an examination of the video, he said he doesn't expect there to be imminent charges against either person.

Lake Mary is about seven miles southwest of Sanford, where George Zimmerman, 29, fatally shot Martin during a fight in a gated community in February 2012. Zimmerman, who identifies himself as Hispanic, was acquitted in July of all charges in the shooting.

Zimmerman said he acted in self-defense when he shot the 17-year-old Martin. He wasn't charged until 44 days after the shooting, leading to protests nationwide from people who believed he should have been immediately arrested.

The case sparked accusations that Zimmerman had racially profiled Martin and demonstrations broke out again after his acquittal. Federal authorities are now reviewing the case the see if Martin's civil rights were violated.

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