|Zimmerman Dispute About Wife 'Flying Away,' Lawyer Says|
|By SENI TIENABESO (@seniABC) and MICHAEL S. JAMES (@bymsj)||Sep 11, 2013, 4:05 PM|
A confrontation between George Zimmerman and his estranged wife escalated into a domestic dispute involving police Monday after he arrived unexpectedly and may have realized she was "flying away," her lawyer told reporters today.
Shellie Zimmerman had been retrieving items from the couple's Lake Mary, Fla., home Monday, according to a police report released earlier today, but George Zimmerman claimed she was "taking property that was not agreed upon and he began taking pictures and recording the items."
But according to Shellie Zimmerman's attorney, "There wasn't any dispute over items. There was maybe a dispute over somebody ... finally spreading her wings and saying, 'I'm flying away.'"
The dispute ended with George Zimmerman briefly in handcuffs and an iPad Shellie Zimmerman said she had been using to videotape events smashed.
Florida police said today that forensic investigators were unable to extract any video from the iPad. As a result, police are not expected to file charges against either George or Shellie Zimmerman regarding the dispute anytime soon, if ever.
In the wake of the disturbance, neither Shellie Zimmerman nor George Zimmerman pushed to press charges, either.
"The only thing Shellie wants out of the end of this relationship is for it to end with a whimper and not a bang," Sims said.
"Shellie's desire is to stay as far as away from him as she can for the rest of her days," Sims added. "She lost about 30 pounds since she left George, so things are going great."
George Zimmerman rose to public attention as a neighborhood watch captain who admitted he fatally shot Trayvon Martin, an unarmed teen, during a confrontation in February 2012. He was found not guilty in the death in June, and Shellie Zimmerman claims she separated from him about a month later.
"Her marriage wasn't going great at the time this happened with Trayvon," Sims told reporters today.
It could take weeks or months to retrieve anything from the iPad, which was badly damaged by George Zimmerman, Lake Mary Police Department spokesman Zach Hudson said.
Shellie Zimmerman, who filed for divorce last week, told cops the incident began when she arranged to pick up her belongings at the home, according to the police report.
Sims said his client did not expect her husband to be at the house, and released text messages today that seemed to show the Zimmermans coordinating the retrieval of items without his presence.
According to the police report, however, George Zimmerman arrived with a woman in the passenger seat and started taking pictures. As a result, Shellie Zimmerman said she also started recording on her iPad and then called her attorney.
The dispute landed the Zimmermans back in the headlines. Shellie Zimmerman told a dispatcher during in a 911call on Monday that her husband punched her father in the nose and then threatened them both with a weapon, leaving her "very, very scared."
"My dad has a mark on his face," she said during the 911 call, adding that George Zimmerman "accosted my father and then took my iPad out of my hand and smashed it and cut it with a pocket knife."
During the call, Shellie Zimmerman then told a dispatcher that her husband had a gun on him.
"Dad, get inside the house," Shellie Zimmerman said. "George might start shooting at us."
In the police report, however, an officer wrote that "the evidence did not support the original complaint and based on this information [George Zimmerman] was taken out of handcuffs."
Police said they also found no signs of "trauma, redness, or marks of any kind" in the area where her father, David Dean, said he was struck. Police added that "none of the witnesses to the event could corroborate ... [the] account of the battery."
Sims today released a photo of David Dean purporting to show a mark on his nose after the disturbance.
George Zimmerman told police that he came to the home to ensure that his wife was getting the property agreed upon by their attorneys.
Shellie Zimmerman told police her husband stuck his arm inside her father's truck and she told him that he was not allowed inside. A dispute ensued and she claimed he grabbed the iPad.
After destroying the device, George Zimmerman reached his hand into his shirt to what she "assumed was a gun," she told police, adding that George Zimmerman told her father to "step closer."
She said her father then told her husband, "What are you going to do, shoot me?"
Samantha Schelbe, who was in the passenger seat of George Zimmerman's car, was "visibly shaken" by the ordeal, police said. Schelbe told police George Zimmerman never touched anyone and said that there were guns in the vehicle but that they had concealed weapons permits for them.
Neither Shellie Zimmerman nor her father said they actually saw a weapon, according to the police report.
George Zimmerman's attorney said soon after the incident that he would no longer represent the client he helped acquit in the death of teenager Trayvon Martin in new legal matters, including his upcoming divorce.
The Associated Press contributed this report.