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…)
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…)
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…)