Zimmerman Documents Paint Troubled Picture
ORLANDO (CBSMiami) – Prosecutors in the second-degree murder case against George Zimmerman have released another round of documents related to the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.
The documents included witness statements, FBI reports, Florida Department of Law Enforcement reports, and phone calls made by Zimmerman.
One FDLE report said that Zimmerman had sought to buy a new gun in mid-March. According to a gun store owner, Zimmerman said his life is in danger and he needs more guns, the report stated.
The FBI, as part of a civil rights investigation, interviewed Sgt. Arthur Barns of the Sanford Police Department who said he “believes the African-American Community would be in an ‘uproar’ if Zimmerman is not charged.” Barnes continued saying that he “felt the shooting was not racially motivated, but it was a man shooting an un-armed kid.”
- Click here to view all of the text documents released Thursday.
Zimmerman’s ex-fiance told investigators that he had a “bad temper during their relationship.” The ex-fiance thought it might have been related to the drug Accutane, which Zimmerman was taking for acne problems.
“The worst behavior he exhibited was when he talked about killing himself,” the ex-fiance told police. She continued saying that following some of their more intense arguments “he (Zimmerman) would get depressed and talk about driving his car into a lake or taking a bunch of pills.”
However, the ex-fiance said she never witnessed any “significant displays of anger or violence toward other people.”
According to a co-worker of Zimmerman, George described the February 27th shooting to them. The co-worker said Zimmerman followed a “suspicious person to tell the police where the person went.” Zimmerman told the co-worker he “got out of his car to look for the suspicious person.”
The co-worker continued, “As Zimmerman was returning to his car, he was struck in the face by the person. As Zimmerman was falling to the ground, Zimmerman started calling for help. The person got on top of Zimmerman and started hitting his head on the pavement…The person told Zimmerman you are going to die. Zimmerman reached down during the struggle, grabbed the gun, and shot. After the shot was fired, the person said, ‘you got me.’”
The co-worker said Zimmerman “appeared concerned about the incident” but that Zimmerman “described the incident in a matter of fact tone.”
A neighbor disputed the report saying the person on top of the argument was “more like wrestling not arms swinging as if striking blows.”
A friend of Zimmerman’s told investigators with the Sanford Police Department that George Zimmerman’s mother was “very strict and dominant. His mother was known to him all the time when Zimmerman was growing up. Up until this incident, Zimmerman was estranged from his family.” The friend also said the father did not discipline and “did not stick up for the kids as they were abused by their mother.”
Additionally, the documents contained the first image of Trayvon’s hooded sweatshirt and the shirt he had on under that when he was shot by Zimmerman.
The FBI interviewed Sanford Police Investigator Christopher Serino who said, “The encounter between George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin was ultimately avoidable by Zimmerman, if Zimmerman had remained in his vehicle and awaited the arrival of law enforcement, or conversely if he had indentified himself to Martin as a concerned citizen and initiated dialog in an effort to dispel each party’s concern.”
Other documents showed that investigators interviewed Trayvon Martin’s cousin and they told police that “without a doubt on a stack of bibles it was Trayvon’s voice yelling for help before the gunshot went off.”
When Zimmerman was booked into jail, according to the documents, he turned over a handgun with three magazines of ammo.
Zimmerman, who was released for a second time on bond earlier this month, is currently in a safe house with security. A judge revoked Zimmerman’s original bond of $150,000 bond last month when prosecutors presented evidence that Zimmerman and his wife misled the court about how much money they had.
Zimmerman’s attorneys said security at the safe house is necessary since some of Martin’s supporters have been angry that he wasn’t arrested until 44 days after the February shooting in Sanford.
Zimmerman has reportedly received death threats.
Zimmerman, who has pleaded not guilty, has maintained that he shot Martin in self-defense because the unarmed 17-year-old was beating him up after the two scuffled in a gated townhome community.