George Zimmerman Posts Bond And Is Released From Jail
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SANFORD (CBSMiami/AP) — George Zimmerman has posted bond and was released from jail late Tuesday afternoon.
Outside of Zimmerman’s ex-girlfriend’s home Tuesday night, a deputy told CBS4’s Ted Scouten that Zimmerman is not allowed back by court order.
Bond had been set at nine-thousand dollars for Zimmerman after his most recent arrest in a domestic disturbance case with his new girlfriend.
The judge ordered the bond at a hearing Tuesday afternoon plus other special conditions.
While out on bond, Zimmerman cannot possess any firearms or ammunition, cannot have any contact with girlfriend Samantha Scheibe, cannot travel outside of Florida and has to wear an impact monitoring device to track his movements.
Zimmerman is being represented by Chief Seminole County Public Defender Jeff Dowdy who told CBS4’s Ted Scouten prior to the bond hearing, “he’s upset, he’s calm but upset. He wants to go home.”
During the hearing, a prosecutor told the judge that Zimmerman’s girlfriend said there was another altercation about a week ago that wasn’t initially reported to police.
“The victim (Samantha Scheibe) had indicated that there was a prior domestic violence incident that occurred approximately a week and a half ago that involved a choking that she did not report to the police,” said Assistant State Attorney Lymary Munoz.
The allegations that Zimmerman tried to strangle his girlfriend came after she made a emotional call to 911 when he allegedly smashed up her home when she asked him pack up his things and go.
“You just broke my glass table. You just broke my sunglasses and you put your gun in my freaking face,” Scheibe could be heard saying n the 9-1-1 recording.
And then we learned more. Scheibe told prosecutors that what makes her even more fearful is that Zimmerman is suicidal — threatening to end it all.
“He’s also mentioned suicide in the recent past, due to those factors and the defendant indicating at the time he was threatening to commit suicide, he had nothing to lose, we feel the victim’s safety and the community’s safety is a paramount concern,” said Munoz.
Zimmerman’s own public defenders were just as blown away by the revelations. They said they knew nothing about them and that he appeared mentally stable.
“He’s back in jail, obviously, that causes a certain amount of stress and anxiety on somebody. I would not character him as the state attorney said, meaning he’s suicidal and volatile. We do not get that impression from him,” said Public Defender Daniel Megaro.
“When we were in the courtroom, that was the first either one of us heard of it,” said attorney Jeff Dowdy.
Zimmerman went from a high priced, high profile defense team who got him acquitted of the murder of Miami Gardens teen Trayvon Martin — to the free services of the Seminole County Public Defender’s office. He’s broke and his attorney’s say he owes about two and half million dollars.
The next court date for his arraignment was scheduled for January 7th, 2014.
Zimmerman was charged Monday with aggravated assault, battery and criminal mischief after his 27-year-old girlfriend called 911.
Scheibe told deputies the ordeal started with a verbal argument and that she asked Zimmerman to leave the house. Her account in the arrest report says he began packing his belongings, including a shotgun and an assault rifle. She says she began putting his things in the living room and outside the house, and he became upset. At that point, the report says, 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 says. 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 barricaded 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 at the home they shared. 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 Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Dennis Lemma said at a news conference that Scheibe wasn’t pregnant.
Deputies used a key provided by Scheibe to unlock the door and they were able to push through the barricade of items, Lemma said.
“She was very concerned for her own safety, especially having the weapon pointed at her and then being pushed out,” he said.
Lemma says Zimmerman was compliant and unarmed when deputies came to the house.
“The easiest way to describe it is rather passive. Clearly, he’s had the opportunity to encounter situations similar to this in the past,” Lemma said.
The arrest was the latest legal problem for Zimmerman since he was acquitted last summer of criminal charges in the fatal shooting of Martin, an unarmed black teen. The case sparked accusations that Zimmerman had racially profiled Martin and led to nationwide debates over the so-called Stand Your Ground defense laws in Florida and other states.
Zimmerman, 30, who identifies himself as Hispanic, 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.
He wasn’t charged until 44 days after the shooting, leading to protests nationwide from people who believed he should have been immediately arrested. Demonstrations also broke out after his acquittal. Federal authorities are now reviewing the case the see if Martin’s civil rights were violated.
“Just when you thought you heard the last of George Zimmerman,” said neighbor Catherine Cantrell. She said she had twice seen a man who looked like Zimmerman get out of a truck that’s been in the driveway for nearly a month. The truck parked there Monday appeared to be the same one that reporters have seen Zimmerman drive previously.
“I’m in absolute shock. He was never outside. It’s not like he was out flaunting around,” she said.
Cantrell said Scheibe was very sweet and quiet.
Zimmerman has had other brushes with the law since his acquittal. Three were traffic related and one very similar domestic situation with his estranged wife Shelly. She too said Zimmerman threatened her by implying that he had a gun – also as she was moving out of their home.
“He’s like a magnet right now for these kinds of accusations from women. What do you think is going on, Is he having a meltdown of some sort,” asked CBS4’s Ted Scouten.
“I think it’s too early to say meltdown, but we’ll find out,” replied Dowdy.
Zimmerman and his estranged wife were involved in a domestic dispute in September just days after Shellie Zimmerman filed divorce papers, but police later said no charges were filed against either of them because of a lack of evidence.
Zimmerman has also been pulled over three times for traffic stops since his acquittal. He was ticketed for doing 60 mph in a 45 mph zone in Lake Mary, Fla., in September and was given a warning by a state trooper along Interstate 95 for having a tag cover and windows that were too darkly tinted. He was also stopped near Dallas in July and given a warning for speeding.
In 2005, Zimmerman 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 fiancée filed for a restraining order against him, alleging domestic violence. Zimmerman responded by requesting a restraining order against her. Both requests were granted. No criminal charges were filed.
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