A family friend of George Zimmerman told investigators he sexually molested her on and off for nearly a decade, newly released audio tapes in the Trayvon Martin shooting case reveal. “He would reach under the blankets and try to do things,” the woman—identified as Witness 9—told investigators. She said the molestation occurred at Zimmerman’s parents’ house.
“I would try to push him off, but he was bigger, stronger and older,” she said during the interview conducted on March 20, less than a month after the Feb. 26 shooting. The woman, who contacted prosecutors after Martin’s killing, said she was 6 and Zimmerman was 8 when the alleged molestation began. It continued until she was 16, she said. Investigators asked the woman why she was coming forward now. “This is the first time in my life that I’m not afraid of him,” she replied.
The woman also told state investigators that she anonymously called Sanford police after Martin’s death. “I was afraid that he may have done something because the kid was black,” the woman says on the recordings. She said she had no direct knowledge of the shooting death, but wanted police to know Zimmerman had made negative comments about blacks when they were growing up. (more…)
George Zimmerman was preparing to flee the U.S. with his wife and $130,000 donated by supporters while he was out of jail on bond awaiting his murder trial for the death of Trayvon Martin, a Florida judge wrote today.
Zimmerman, whose bail was raised to $1 million, “was preparing to flee to avoid prosecution, but such plans were thwarted,” Judge Kenneth Lester wrote in the bond order released today.
Lester berated Zimmerman for misleading the court about how much money he and his wife had stashed in bank accounts. In June, prosecutors proved to the court that Zimmerman had tried to appear indigent to the judge, when in reality he had hundreds of thousands of dollars that supporters had donated to help his legal defense.
Lester said that Zimmerman “flaunted the system,” by misleading the court about how much cash he and his wife had in bank accounts. (more…)
BREAKING: George Zimmerman’s wife arrested on perjury charge
Shellie Zimmerman is accused of lying under oath at her husband’s bail hearing. You can read the full statement of probable cause HERE. ABC News is reporting that bond has been set at $1,000.
SANFORD, Florida (Reuters) – George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer charged in the Florida killing of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin, returned to jail on Sunday after a court revoked his bond and ordered him back into custody. Zimmerman, who had been free on a $150,000 bond and hiding in an undisclosed location, arrived at the Sanford County jail in a white police mini-van shortly before the 48-hour deadline imposed by Circuit Court Judge Kenneth Lester Jr. on Friday. The 28-year-old Zimmerman, dressed in jeans and a plaid shirt and accompanied by Seminole County Sheriff’s deputies and his attorney, Mark O’Mara, walked into the jailhouse with his hands cuffed behind his back. Zimmerman did not respond to shouts from media outside.
O’Mara told reporters Zimmerman was “frustrated” at having to return to jail and that “he has a real concern for his safety any time he has to come out of hiding.” It was the latest twist in a murder case that has captured global media attention and sparked widespread debate in the United States over guns, self-defense laws and race relations. On Friday Judge Lester revoked Zimmerman’s bond, posted in April while he was awaiting trial, after prosecutors said he had withheld one of two valid passports and his wife did not tell the court about money donated for his legal defense. (more…)
Saying he had no discretion under state law, a judge sentenced a Jacksonville, Florida, woman to 20 years in prison Friday for firing a warning shot in an effort to scare off her abusive husband. Marissa Alexander unsuccessfully tried to use Florida’s controversial “stand your ground” law to derail the prosecution, but a jury in March convicted her of aggravated assault after just 12 minutes of deliberation.
The case, which was prosecuted by the same state attorney who is handling the Trayvon Martin case, has gained the attention of civil rights leaders who say the African-American woman was persecuted because of her race. After the sentencing, Rep. Corrine Brown confronted State Attorney Angela Corey in the hallway, accusing her of being overzealous, according to video from CNN affiliate WJXT. “There is no justification for 20 years,” Brown told Corey during an exchange frequently interrupted by onlookers. “All the community was asking for was mercy and justice,” she said. (more…)
Bill Cosby, the latest in a string of celebrities asked to publicly weigh in on the Trayvon Martin case, said the biggest issue in the 17-year-old’s killing at the hands of 28-year-old neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman is not race–it’s guns.
“I believe that when you tell me that you’re going to protect the neighborhood that I live in, I don’t want you to have a gun,” Cosby, 74, said in an interview with CNN’s “State of the Union” broadcast on Sunday. “I want you to be able to see something, report it, and get out of the way, because you happen to be a part of the neighborhood. I don’t want you to get hurt. And I don’t want you to hurt anyone.”
1) Did George Zimmerman have help from his father, a retired judge, in clearing his name in three separate arrests? That’s the question that’s being asked now that more information on Trayvon Martin’s 28-year-old killer is being revealed. According to court records George Zimmerman is the son of retired Supreme Court Magistrate Judge Robert J. Zimmerman, his mother Gladys Zimmerman is a court clerk. Now more info is being dug up on his George Zimmerman through public records and revealing his checkered past. According to a records search on George, he was previously arrested for domestic violence, resisting an officer without violence and most shockingly, resisting an officer with violence — a felony charge that surely could have landed him in prison. All three incidents were mysteriously closed with no semblance of charges for the Florida resident. So how was someone with a violent past including that of battery against an officer able to carry a 9 mm handgun?
Note: It has been brought to our attention that George Zimmerman has been arrested one time, not three, and that the charges against him were dropped after he completed a pre-trial diversion program. The additional two charges stem from the same incident on the same date.
2) Video Obtained by ABC news shows George Zimmerman had no injuries or blood on him when taken by police. (more…)
Wisconsin is a rod-and-gun state, with a hunting history that has fostered traditions of broad gun ownership and respect for the right to bear arms.
So how did Wisconsin get saddled with a “Castle Doctrine” law that mirrors some of the worst aspects of the Florida legislation that’s now at the center of the controversy over the killing of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.
Not because sportsmen and women, law enforcement officers, legal scholars or grassroots citizens decided Wisconsin should borrow bad ideas from distant states.
Wisconsin has a “Castle Doctrine” law because the American Legislative Exchange Council, the corporate-funded group that aligns special-interest organizations and corporate donors with pliable legislators, made the Florida law “model legislation.” Then ALEC-aligned political insiders such as Assembly Majority Leader Scott Suder, a national ALEC task-force member, and Governor Scott Walker, an ALEC alumnus, introduced, passed and signed “Castle Doctrine” legislation—despite warnings from Wisconsin law enforcement leaders and responsible gun owners that it was a poor fit for the state.
How poor a fit became evident last week, when (more…)
On February 26, 2012, a 17-year-old African-American named Trayvon Martin was shot and killed in Sanford, Florida. The shooter was George Zimmerman, a 28-year-old white man. Zimmerman admits killing Martin, but claims he was acting in self-defense. Three weeks after Martin’s death, no arrests have been made and Zimmerman remains free.
Here is what everyone should know about the case:
1. Zimmerman called the police to report Martin’s “suspicious” behavior, which he described as “just walking around looking about.” Zimmerman was in his car when he saw Martin walking on the street. He called the police and said: “There’s a real suspicious guy. This guy looks like he’s up to no good, on drugs or something. It’s raining and he’s just walking around looking about… These a**holes always get away” [Orlando Sentinel]
2. Zimmerman pursued Martin against the explicit instructions of the police dispatcher:
Dispatcher: “Are you following him?”
Dispatcher: “OK, we don’t need you to do that.” (more…)
SANFORD, Fla. — Police have released audio 911 tapes in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed teenager allegedly killed by a neighborhood watch captain while walking home from a store. In eight chilling recordings, made the night of February 26, listeners can hear the frightened voices of neighbors calling to report screams for help, gunshots and then that someone was dead.
In perhaps the most disturbing of the recordings, a frightened voice cries out for help and pleading “No! No!” and then wailing.
And for the first time, we hear the voice of George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch captain who admitted to police that he shot Martin, who was walking home from a convenience store to his father’s home in the gated community. Zimmerman has not been arrested or charged in the shooting. “This guy looks like he’s up to no good, or he’s on drugs or something,” Zimmerman tells the 911 operator. “He’s just staring, looking at all the houses. Now he’s coming toward me. He’s got his hand in his waistband. Something’s wrong with him.” Zimmerman described Martin as wearing a hoodie and sweatpants or jeans. He continues: “He’s coming to check me out. He’s got something in his hands. I don’t know what his deal is. Can we get an officer over here?”
“These assholes always get away,” he says to the operator. Zimmerman is then heard giving directions to the dispatcher. “Shit, he’s running,” Zimmerman says.
“Are you following him?” the dispatcher asks.
“Yes,” Zimmerman responds.
“We don’t need you to do that,” the dispatcher says. (more…)
An investigation of the events which led up to the murder of seventeen year old Trayvon Martin has revealed that police officers investigating the case tampered with witness statements. ABC News is now reporting that, after George Zimmerman shot and George Zimmerman, he told police that he screamed for help before shooting Martin. However, witnesses contradicted Zimmerman’s statement and said that it was the teen, not Zimmerman, who screamed for help.
Trayvon Marton Murdered in Florida, Not Even by the Police This Time
But when at least one witness told the responding officers that it was the teen who screamed for help, and not Zimmerman, the witness account was “corrected” by police. In addition, according to law enforcement sources who heard Zimmerman’s call to police, he told a dispatcher “these a..holes always get away.” The police have yet to release the recording.
Also, police seem not to have taken into account that Trayvon Martin was outweighed by George Zimmerman by at least 100 pounds according to witnesses. That disparity in weight should have confirmed for police that Zimmerman did not act in self-defense, but the police still seem set on framing Zimmerman as the victim, and Martin as the assailant, even though the facts don’t substantiate that rendering of the story.