November 19, 2013

George Zimmerman released from jail after court hearing

A judge sets bond at $9,000 on charges he pointed a shotgun at his new girlfriend and forced her out of the home.

By Mike Schneider
The Associated Press

(Continued from page 1)

click image to enlarge

George Zimmerman answers questions from a Seminole circuit judge as public defender Daniel Megaro listens, Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2013, in Sanford, Fla. during a first-appearance hearing on charges including aggravated assault stemming from a fight with his girlfriend. Zimmerman was acquitted of all charges earlier this year in the fatal shooting of teenager Trayvon Martin in a case that drew worldwide attention.

AP Photo/Orlando Sentinel, Joe Burbank, Pool

click image to enlarge

George Zimmerman, rear, acquitted in the high-profile killing of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin, listens as his lead attorney Jeff Dowdy speaks in court Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2013, in Sanford, Fla., during Zimmerman’s hearing on charges including aggravated assault stemming from a fight with his girlfriend. Looking on are his defense counsel Daniel Megaro, left, and Jeff Dowdy.

AP Photo/Orlando Sentinel, Joe Burbank, Pool

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At that point, the report said, he took the shotgun out of its case.

Zimmerman told his girlfriend to leave and smashed a pair of her sunglasses as she walked toward the front door, the report said. Scheibe told deputies he pushed her out of the house when she got close to the door.

"You point your gun at my fricking face," Scheibe is heard telling Zimmerman on a 911 call. "Get out of my house. Do not push me out of my house. Please get out of my house."

Seconds later, she told the dispatcher, "You kidding me? He pushed me out of my house and locked me out. ... He knows how to do this. He knows how to play this game."

Moments later, Zimmerman called 911 from inside the house to tell his side of the story.

"I have a girlfriend who, for lack of a better word, has gone crazy on me," Zimmerman said.

Zimmerman then said he never pulled a gun on his girlfriend and that it was she who smashed a table. He also told the dispatcher that Scheibe was pregnant with their child and that she had decided she would raise the child on her own. When Zimmerman started to leave, "she got mad," he said.

Seminole County Chief Deputy Dennis Lemma said at a news conference that Scheibe was not pregnant. He also said Zimmerman was compliant and unarmed when deputies came to the house.

On Tuesday, Dowdy said he could not confirm whether the girlfriend was pregnant.

The arrest on Monday was the latest legal problem for Zimmerman since he was acquitted last summer of criminal charges in the fatal shooting of Martin. Zimmerman has said he shot the 17-year-old to defend himself during a fight in February 2012 inside a gated community in Sanford, just outside Orlando.

Relatives of Martin, who was black and unarmed, accused Zimmerman of racially profiling the teen and instigating a fight. Zimmerman, who identifies himself as Hispanic, said he shot the teen in self-defense. The case sparked nationwide debates about race and self-defense laws.

In September, just months after his acquittal, Zimmerman was accused by his estranged wife of smashing an iPad during an argument at the home they had shared. Shellie Zimmerman initially told a dispatcher her husband had a gun, though she later said he was not armed.

No charges were ever filed because of a lack of evidence. The dispute occurred days after Shellie Zimmerman filed divorce papers. George Zimmerman was served the papers while in custody on the latest charges, said Shellie Zimmerman's lawyer, Kelly Sims.

In 2005, he had to take anger-management courses after he was accused of attacking an undercover officer who was trying to arrest Zimmerman's friend.

Later that year, Zimmerman's former fiancee filed for a restraining order against him, alleging domestic violence. Zimmerman responded by requesting a restraining order against her. Both requests were granted, and no criminal charges were filed.

Since his acquittal, Zimmerman has also been pulled over three times for traffic stops.

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