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Deja Vu: George Zimmerman Charged with Aggravated Assault

Deja Vu: George Zimmerman Charged with Aggravated Assault

Zimmerman’s girlfriend pulled over by police, tells them he had thrown wine bottle at her days earlier

Well, look who’s back in the news with girlfriend trouble, as reported by the Orlando Sentinel. And, consistent with similar past events, that girlfriend trouble has lead directly to jail, do not pass “GO,” do not collect $200.

George Zimmerman’s girlfriend, pulled over yesterday by police for a routine traffic stop, volunteered to them that he had thrown a wine bottle at her the prior Monday while she was visiting Zimmerman’s Lake Mary residence.  Nobody called the police at that time, nor at any time prior to the girlfriend being pulled over by police last night.

Officers stopped by Zimmerman’s residence within hours of the girlfriend’s report, arresting him on charges of aggravated assault. He was promptly arraigned, and represented at his arraignment by Attorney Don West.  It was West, along with Mark O’Mara, who represented Zimmerman at his murder trial for the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.  Zimmerman was, of course, acquitted of all charges in that trial.

At arraignment Zimmerman was granted bail at $5,000, with the conditions that he not contact the girlfriend and turn over all his firearms.  The State had also requested that the Court order Zimmerman to wear a GPS device.  West objected to the GPS in part on the grounds that “Mr. Zimmerman has a well-established history of appearing as requested in court,” and the Court elected to do without the device.

This does not, frankly, strike me as the most robust aggravated assault case to come floating out of Florida. It’s worth remembering that Zimmerman has a history of girlfriends bringing criminal charges against him only to have those charges disappear into the wind.

I suppose, of course, that we need to wait until we see or hear the actual evidence.

Zimmerman’s next court date is February 17. We will, of course, keep an eye on things as they develop.

–-Andrew, @LawSelfDefense


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Andrew F. Branca is an MA lawyer and the author of the seminal book “The Law of Self Defense, 2nd Edition,” available at the Law of Self Defense blog (autographed copies available) and Amazon.com (paperback and Kindle). He also holds Law of Self Defense Seminars around the country, and provides free online self-defense law video lectures at the Law of Self Defense Institute and podcasts through iTunes, Stitcher, and elsewhere.

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Comments

does seem odd how she was pulled over and just happened to say something to get him arrested.
at the same time its odd hes always with people that act like this.
we’ll see what the evidence shows.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to dmacleo. | January 11, 2015 at 4:13 pm

    Consider this: the cops know GZ’s address by heart. Cop pulls GF over for traffic violation. Cop asks for license, asking is this address still current? Either the address on the license is the same as GZ’s and the cop recognizes it, or she says no, I live at such-and-such address, and the cop recognizes it and asks if she lives with GZ. He then begins questioning her about him, looking for a recitation of something he can flesh out into a charge, and she relates the incident, either unwittingly or out of spite. Or, she states her address is such-and-such but she’s looking for a new place because she and her BF, GZ, had a run-in, etc..

    The point being that the cops very likely recognized GZ’s address and ran with the ball from there. The fact that this woman didn’t call the cops at the time of the incident tells me it was so minor as to be criminally meaningless or she has her own reasons for not wanting police contact.

    The claim that GZ threw a bottle of wine is pretty lame. Did he really throw it? Did he throw it at her? Did it hit her?

    If this incident is worthy of prosecutorial involvement, why didn’t the woman call the cops herself at the time? Is it because it was so minor as to be ridiculous, or did she, herself, not want police contact?

I think George should think about staying away from women.

Seems that at the least he won’t put up with their sh!t or they decide because of his past they can get away with lying about his actions.

George: a lot of women these days are manipulative,lying conniving vipers especially those attracted to someone with your past. Think O.J. and the types of girlfriends he attracted until he finally went off the deep end.

Dude really needs some counseling and a name change.

Maybe it’s the pressure from waiting to see if our Dept of Injustice will try to put him in jail.

    Anonamom in reply to jakee308. | January 10, 2015 at 1:30 pm

    I think George should seriously consider moving out of the country. (Wasn’t his mother Venezuelan?) Unfortunately for him, he now has a target on his forehead, and he can expect this type of “aggressive enforcement” for the rest of his miserable life. Won the battle, lost the war.

      Skookum in reply to Anonamom. | January 10, 2015 at 3:09 pm

      Peruvian.

      jakee308 in reply to Anonamom. | January 10, 2015 at 3:56 pm

      He needs to get out of FLA. ASAP.

      Florida has a presumption of guilt of the MAN in any domestic violence. They will not accept the word of a man unless he has severe damage and witnesses.

      All a woman has to do is make the claim and you go to jail. (as in this case.) My guess she thought she could talk herself out of a ticket by giving up GZ. This is what some women will do. They have no honor no morals and will rat you out in a NEW YORK minute.

        Gremlin1974 in reply to jakee308. | January 10, 2015 at 6:06 pm

        I find it interesting that the charge is Aggravated Assault and not a Domestic Assault. That really doesn’t make sense to me.

          Domestic Assault is probably a Misdemeanor.

          Aggravated Assault is probably a Felony. Also, the use of the “wine bottle” in the commission of the offense would count as a “weapon” for “enhancement” purposes.

          Also, my personal opinion – The State of Florida is going to try to get him charged with and convicted of a felony any way, shape of form they can, and they will lie, cheat and connive in any way they have to in order to do it.

          The District Attorneys are going to try desperately for the rest of his life for that felony conviction in order to prevent him from ever being able to possess a firearm again.

          He needs to move to Alaska, WAAAAY out in the wilderness for about 10 years. THEN he can consider moving to Montana or Wyoming, but only somewhere slightly less remote and removed from people.

          JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Gremlin1974. | January 11, 2015 at 4:00 pm

          Chuck, I couldn’t agree more. The State of FL is 100% all in on trying to get their lost pound of flesh.

          George! Wake up! Get the hell out of FL and stay away from women for a couple years!

    Char Char Binks in reply to jakee308. | January 11, 2015 at 4:24 pm

    Deceitful! Two-faced! She-Woman! Never trust a female, Jake! Remember
    that one simple precept and your time with me will not have been ill
    spent! Truth means nothin’ to Woman, Jake. Triumph of the
    subjective! You ever been with a woman? Believe me, Jake, Woman is the most fiendish instrument of torture ever devised to bedevil the days a man!

Henry Hawkins | January 10, 2015 at 1:01 pm

Plead PTSD (Post Trayvon Stress Disorder).

Not a lawyer…is it standard procedure to have your firearms turned over in an arraignment like this?

darkknight3565 | January 10, 2015 at 1:50 pm

I’m pretty sure he can claim self-defense. I think I saw a scratch on his hand or something.

Love this AP first paragraph:

“MIAMI (AP) — Florida authorities say George Zimmerman, whose acquittal of murdering an unarmed black teen sparked a national debate on race and self-defense laws, has been arrested for allegedly throwing a wine bottle at his girlfriend.”

Let’s see…. murdering (check), unarmed (check), black (check) teen (check) self-defense laws (check).

Classically trained professional journalists with the highest ethical standards at work.

Zimmerman needs better taste in women. This is ridiculous.

    jakee308 in reply to LLC. | January 10, 2015 at 3:59 pm

    Part of the problem are the laws in FLA.

    Woman makes a allegation of assault means instant jail for the man. No mitigating circumstances at the scene. The cops have no leeway, they must arrest the man. It’s a presumption of guilt.

    Man VAWA laws are like this all over the country. Women never lie. Do they?

      That is likely ~policy~ not black-letter law. If it was, I guarantee you some enterprising young lawyer trying to make a name for himself would have taken on a domestic violence case, won it, and then sued the state on Constitutional “Equal Protection” grounds.

      JackRussellTerrierist in reply to jakee308. | January 11, 2015 at 4:31 pm

      This woman may not be lying, and that’s what’s wrong with the charge.

      Whatever happened, if anything, was not severe enough for her to call the cops when it happened or anytime thereafter. This was a very – ahem – pro-active effort by the cops to get the charge.

      Maybe the cops knew who she was and more or less claimed a traffic violation in order to pull her over to have a chat for the purpose of getting something on GZ. Or it was a legitimate traffic stop and the cop recognized her address as being GZ’s and probed until she said something they could sink their teeth into.

      I can tell from your posts you or a friend or relative have been bitten hard in the posterior by some treacherous b!tch and may have good personal cause to find fault with the law (I agree with you), but this may not be a case in which the woman deserves all the blame. This whole thing feels like a state-sponsored witch hunt of GZ.

      If any chick GZ knows so much as sneezes or stubs her toe, here come the cops and prosecutor after George “Jean Valjean” Zimmerman…..again.

Personally, I hope Don West makes this all go away. Then I hope he helps GZ to go away from Florida, maybe get some counseling or something. The whole thing seems strange, then again, I never knew a wine bottle was a weapon.

MouseTheLuckyDog | January 10, 2015 at 4:54 pm

How sexist!
Any casual viewer of 50s/60s screwball romances will have seen many women: Katherine Hepburn, Doris Day, Debbie Reynolds, Sophie Loren, Sandra Dee, Myrna Loy, Maureen O’Hara ( especially Maureen O’Hara whose combination of red hair and Irish blood make her particularly feisty), throw all sorts of fragile (usually ceramic) objects: dishware, statuettes, vases, lamps and not only are they not arrested, but the intent is for the audience to applaud them.

But let one white Hispanic man throw one bottle of wine and it’s off to jail with you.

Hmm I hope they have stronger evidence than this, because it doesn’t sound like the police had probable cause to effect an arrest, which is probably why they skipped the judge. Suspicion maybe, but not probable cause. I think its time for a civil rights suit against the PD.

    Judges are often “rubber stamps” for this kind of arrest warrant, because they have to take what the officer says in the “sworn affidavit” as true on its face. They will only deny the warrant if on its face it does not meet the elements of a crime (some element is missing from the accusation).

      citizenjeff in reply to Chuck Skinner. | January 11, 2015 at 1:55 pm

      “They will only deny the warrant if on its face it does not meet the elements of a crime (some element is missing from the accusation).”

      The probable cause affidavit charging Zimmerman with murder didn’t contain any specific accusation of unlawful behavior. He was accused of only profiling, following and confronting Trayvon Martin, all of which is perfectly legal behavior.

      it sounds like they didn’t have an arrest warrant, so they probably didn’t even bother going to the judge. Listening to the hearing, it sounds like this was declared probable cause after the arrest. Even if the judge had taken the officer at his word, it does not sound like they had probable cause as it was just someone’s accusation at a traffic stop some days later with no supporting evidence of the underlying allegation The procedure in his case would be to convene a grand jury and get them to indict George. Probably something not even notoriously easy grand juries would do so they were like “screw it, let’s just arrest him”

is there anything women WON’T do to get out of a traffic ticket?

i call BS.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to redc1c4. | January 11, 2015 at 5:07 pm

    That may not be the case here. It might be, but it’s also pretty clear that FL LE have been gunnin’ for GZ ever since the acquittal. It’s hard to know what she said or what was twisted or what was offered during this traffic stop in order to get GZ back under the gun.

    Frankly, this whole case thus far stinks of harassment.

I have noted in the couple of stories I have read so far they only mention the charge, not that it was days later during a traffic stop when it was just mentioned.

Also, is it standard procedure for police to arrest on a comment made during a traffic stop? Also, they jumped right on this on. One would think that Police hear all kinds of things during traffic stops.

    The above story is the first I heard of the exact circumstances, and I think I had skimmed 3-4 different reports before reading about the details here.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Gremlin1974. | January 11, 2015 at 5:30 pm

    I suspect the reason you hadn’t previously read about this allegation arising from a traffic stop 4-5 days after the alleged incident is because it’s such a weak case and that aspect does nothing to bolster the image of GZ being a vicious, gun-crazed, white Hispanic criminal.

    It is not SOP for a cop to run with such a claim so far after the fact based on a situation where the victim/witness didn’t even seek to make the claim on his/her own impetus. Under normal circumstances, there would need to be a more serious allegation than this to get the cops to act on it since she didn’t call them in the first place.

    Then again, maybe she said, “I was afraid he’d kill me if I called you.” That would be the cherry on top for cops if they were out to git ‘im to begin with. That’d be carte blanche to run with it, despite the fact that she hadn’t filed for a protective order on her own volition.

you know if he was playing in the nfl he would have gotten a free pass on this one……

I don’t get it about the guns. If GZ had thrown his shoe at her would they still takeaway his guns? What does a wine bottle have to do with guns? Also, without a witness how can he be arrested? It is he said she said and we all know where that leads. This sounds to me like she was afraid she was going to get a ticket and decided to offer up GZ instead.

    There’s a step here that the media isn’t reporting:

    Standard procedure is when there is an allegation of domestic violence (which usually includes “dating relationships” these days), there is almost universally an offer of a ex parte “Protective Order” (meaning without a hearing with the accused present). That ex parte order goes into effect immediately, but there has to be a hearing on those usually within 14 days or they evaporate of their own accord.

    The contested protective order hearing is where the action is at: 18 USC 922(g)8) prevents a person who is the subject of a protective order from possessing a firearm (with certain findings, which are ALWAYS made).

    It sounds like when they did the arrest, they held the contested protective order hearing as well.

How is this legal? She could have gotten her bruise any old way. Yet, police will arrest someone days later without witnessing a crime only based on what someone says?

Dang, I could take out a few people like that. Bang my head against wall, then flag down a cop and claim my enemy hit me. BAM, jail time.

George didn’t admit to the crime did he?!?! That is only thing I can think can lead to an arrest.

I need some parental guidance on this one. Andrew? help us all out here.

    False accusations actually happen quite a lot. You’ll have a couple that are on their way to divorce or bad break-up and one or the other (usually the wife/girlfriend, but not always) will magically show up to the police with cuts and bruises a day or two after a fight which the other party swears up and down was only a verbal shouting match. It happens a lot more when there are children in the relationship and one side is trying to gain an advantage in the custody battle.

    I had one of these about two years ago where the common law wife waited for my client to leave the house, and then actually whacked herself in the head with a frying pan before calling the cops. The only reason it didn’t work out for her was that she was right handed and whacked herself on the right side in a way that was physically impossible for my client to have done due to partial paralysis from a stroke.

    Even then, it took 10 months of court hearings to get it to go away, and it almost killed my 68 year old client in the process.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to captainfish. | January 11, 2015 at 5:39 pm

    What bruise? There’s nothing in Andrew’s post about a bruise (which he would not leave out since it’s evidence – of sorts) nor in the news story associated with the post.

I would like to apply for a concealed wine permit myself. 🙂

Huh? How come she just didn’t save something semen stained? How come hearsay is believed? Clue: “she says.”

Does Zimmerman now need an attorney? Was the bottle empty? What was the brand? What was she discussing with George at the time?

Why do I think she’s lying?

And, while policemen hear all kinds of excuses … when stopping a car on the road. I’ll give this dame credit of “thinking up a new one.”

“A few days ago a wine bottle came flying at me, so now I can’t see out the windshield at the road.”

Do you notice how ‘journalists’ want to give out Zimmerman’s address?

And, nobody asks this gal how she got into Zimmerman’s place. Everyone seems to assume she came in through the front door, invited. What if that’s not so?

Exactly how do you “prove” this in court?

Let’s say the cops have gone through the trash and found broken glass. Don’t fingerprints have to be on the bottle? Stains anywhere?

It seems it’s easy to get somebody arrested. Lucky for Zimmerman (except for here) this didn’t make a dent in the horror story out of Paris.

You know, this gal’s name is probably not on the lease.

And, I recently learned something about tickets. In my town there’s a street that starts out with two lanes, but goes to one. And, drivers tend to drive ON THE RIGHT … to pass into a one lane street, above this.

So at a townhall meeting someone suggested to just put a cop there, and let him write tickets. Alas, the judges in Pasadena frown on my town. And, all these tickets get thrown out.

If this had made a bigger splash I’m sure Mark O’Mara would have appeared before cameras.

While in any case that has legs ANY attorney could ask to dispose a witness like this broad. And? What she said was “off the cuff.” She got scared when she was pulled over.

Why was she pulled over? Was she trying to brush glass off her chest? (What if George Zimmerman did NOT invite her inside his house?) Won’t the state also need a few witnesses from the neighbors?

What funds does George Zimmerman use for cash?

    Witness testimony is a form of proof. In a situation like this, almost universally it comes down to this: Does the Jury believe the Complaining Witness (aka Victim) sufficiently to get to the “beyond a reasonable doubt” threshold.

    If there’s some physical evidence, that’s great for the District Attorney to have, but they will often go to trial on the witness testimony alone.

    Sometimes they District Attorney will even try to go to trial when there isn’t a complaining witness, and they’ll try to make the case via other evidence (like 911 tapes or police statements). On those, Hearsay objections and Crawford Objections are a defense attorney’s tools, but the Defense has to actually assert them, or they’re waived.

Here’s an example of what we can expect regarding the reporting of this story.

Here in Tampa, WTSP Channel 10 is the local CBS affiliate. One of their ditz “news anchors” just teased the 11 o’clock exercise if dishonesty (they call it “the news”) by saying, “And some are wondering how many ‘Get of Jail Free’ cards George Zimmerman has after his latest arrest.’

Weapons grade horseshit.

The best sentence in the coverage is that the judge ordered Zimmerman (who posted bail the next day), to pack up all this dame’s belongings. And, to give this box to Don West. (Attorney to the rescue.)

Believe it or not, the judge cut the strings of this “affair.” Zimmerman is now free in more ways than one. His girlfriend’s out her “relationship.”

She gets stopped by cops and just happens to offer an unprompted report that Zimmerman threw a wine bottle at her? The stench is great with this one.

Henry Hawkins | January 11, 2015 at 2:00 pm

From now on, whenever I get pulled over I’m going to ‘mention’ that Rachel Maddow threw a chain saw at me and Harry Reid touched my daddy parts.

    Gremlin1974 in reply to Henry Hawkins. | January 11, 2015 at 4:33 pm

    I actually read this comment about 20 minutes ago, I am only now able to get my laughter under control enough to actually type and reply. Great comment.

Ah didn’t know Ah’d been raped until the check bounced, officah.

Make no mistake. The justice system is PO’d all the way up to AG Holder that they couldn’t get the Trademark charge to stick, and they are now gunning for Zim. Why? To send a chilling message to the rest of the country that there’s no way, no how, you will ever win if you defend yourself with a gun.

That isn’t how the arrest was made. The arrest report is here:

http://www.wesh.com/blob/view/-/30661442/data/1/-/jswbxg/-/Arrest-Report–Zimmerman-domestic-violence-incident.pdf

It still smells, but the reason the arrest took a week, according to the report, is that GZ could not be found.

    Immolate in reply to divemedic. | January 13, 2015 at 11:08 am

    Good resource. Looks like the traffic stop was immediately after the incident. Girlfriend claims he broke her cell phone and threw the wine bottle at her as she was leaving his residence. Says he’s a psycho and she should have known better than to get involved with him.

    I long-ago decided that Zimmerman is his own worst enemy. I don’t know if he was always that way, but since the Trayvon incident, he has exhibited poor judgement and a penchant for finding himself in off-the-hook altercations. Either he’s a harpy magnet, or the problem is George. Either way, the solution is George.

      Phillep Harding in reply to Immolate. | January 14, 2015 at 8:44 pm

      The news media is exaggerating everything about him.

      Julian in reply to Immolate. | January 15, 2015 at 3:23 pm

      I can’t imagine the police would take such an interest if it was anyone else.If her phone wasn’t used for a while it would backup his statement. If not he’s in trouble.

Captain Keogh | January 14, 2015 at 1:54 pm

He is such a shmuck and is going to hang himself. get out of the country at least until Obama is no longer president and change your last name.

George I have one suggestion for you and I can sum it up in one word; Hermit!

I had hoped that when he was stopped for speeding int Texas he had been smart enough to get the heck out of Florida, but alas that was not the case. He needs to at least change his name, maybe to his mothers maiden Peruvian name and at least switch cities. I can’t remember what he does for a living, something with computers I think? Texas would be a good choice for him.

I wonder if he is going to challenge that horrid Judges decision to throw his case against those news folks out?

What are the odds that her lights were actually off or that they heard a bottle break?

Mr. Branca….I don’t know if you remember me, but I posted about you on Martialtalk.com….before they banned political talk. You kindly responded and I appreciated that a great deal. I have a question that I was wondering if you would find a moment to address. I am debating gun control, again, on u.s.messageboard and find an anti gunner talking about Dr. Gary Kleck’s famous study…and because Dr. Kleck mentioned that many times people using guns for self defense, back in the 90s, carried their guns illegally….the anti gunner continuously states that Dr. Kleck’s study only shows that most gun defenses are done by criminals, not law abiding citizens….I know this is a minor thing. The reason I am addressing it is because I believe that this battle needs to be taken to all levels of debate, even on these discussion sites. Looking through Dr. Kleck’s work he seems to say that it is law abiding citizens carrying guns illegally in the 90s…is there any part of Dr. Kleck’s work that you know of that specifically states that law abiding citizens are the majority of defense gun users….and not criminals. Thanks for your time….

Billc

    Gremlin1974 in reply to billc. | January 17, 2015 at 6:55 pm

    While I honestly believe that you are just a troll looking for a backhanded “gotcha” moment, just in case you aren’t.

    I would start with Dr. Lotts book titled “More Guns Less Crime”.

    As far as your debate, while I don’t have any firm numbers the argument that because they were carrying guns “illegally” makes them criminal is kind of childish, especially in light of Supreme Court decisions since that time. The easiest counter argument in light of the SCOTUS rulings is that they weren’t “criminals” but just acting in defiance of unconstitutional laws, which basically make s Dr. Kleck’s work invalid.

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