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New police video shows George Zimmerman police encounter

September 10, 2013|By Michael Muskal
  • George Zimmerman, right, is escorted to a home by a police officer Monday in Lake Mary, Fla., after a domestic incident involving his wife, Shellie.
George Zimmerman, right, is escorted to a home by a police officer Monday… (John Raoux / Associated…)

He stood his ground, she stood by her man and the world seemingly cannot stand away from the ongoing soap opera that has become the life of George Zimmerman.

Police in Lake Mary Florida are expected to decide quickly whether to charge George Zimmerman, or his wife, Shellie, with domestic battery, police spokesman Zach Hudson told the Los Angeles Times on Tuesday.

Officials could also decide to not charge either member of the estranged couple, he said.

“This is definitely not over,” Hudson said. “Essentially, we are determining whether we charge on domestic battery” which he said carries a maximum sentence of one year in jail.

At a later televised news conference, Hudson told reporters that officials were also examining images recorded by Shellie on an iPad to help in the investigation. “We live in a video world, we live in an electronics age, and an iPad was being used to record the” events.

Zimmerman, who was acquitted in July of murdering unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin, had a confrontation on Monday with his estranged wife, Shellie, who was convicted of perjury last month for lying about the couple's finances at her husband's bail hearing.

The original reports of the latest spat -- covered in depth even by new outlets amid the ongoing crisis over a possible  U.S. military strike against Syria -- indicated that Shellie said George Zimmerman threatened her with a gun and punched her father in the face.

Hours later, however, the story had changed. Police said they found no gun on Zimmerman’s person and Shellie Zimmerman and her father, David Dean, had decided not to seek any charges against Zimmerman. Hudson said none of the witnesses in the case saw a gun either, so “as of right now, a gun is not part of the equation.”

Lake Mary Police Chief Steve Bracknell told reporters in Florida that Zimmerman was let go on Monday after he was detained for questioning. But he said police would continue to investigate.

Mark O'Mara, who headed the legal team that successfully defended Zimmerman in the murder case, said, "Emotions are running very, very high" between George and Shellie Zimmerman, who has filed for divorce, and "nobody should be facing charges" after Monday's incident.

O’Mara, who is a consultant to CNN, will not be representing George Zimmerman in divorce proceedings or if he is charged in the domestic dispute, according to a tweet from a CNN journalist.

"They need to just sort of stay away from each other, keep things cool and work through their attorneys," O’Mara said.

Since his acquittal in the murder trial, Zimmerman has had difficulty staying out of the limelight. He has twice been pulled over by police on suspicion of speeding and was ticketed once. He also appeared in photos taken at a gun factory.

But there has been an upside as well: He helped a family from their vehicle after a car accident.

Still, Zimmerman can’t seemingly stay away from making news, and most of it puts him in a poor light.

George Zimmerman's brother Robert Zimmerman Jr. tweeted after media reports surfaced about the domestic dispute that “we've learned from GZ case not to 'jump to conclusions,' to wait for facts, & to avoid speculation.

'News' is a business — not your friend.”

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New Yorkers begin voting after volatile mayoral primary races

Ohio man indicted after confessing on YouTube to drunk-driving crash

Follow L.A. Times National on Twitter

michael.muskal@latimes.com

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