George Zimmerman leaves jail, can't have guns

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by ABC NEWS

WHAS11.com

Posted on November 19, 2013 at 3:16 PM

Updated Tuesday, Nov 19 at 6:51 PM

(ABC NEWS) -- George Zimmerman walked out of jail today after agreeing to give up his guns and wear an electronic monitor.

Zimmerman, who had been acquitted earlier this year of murder in the death teenager Trayvon Martin, had posted a $9,000 bond for his release.

In addition to giving up his guns and wearing a monitor, Zimmerman was told he must stay away from his girlfriend.

Earlier in the day, Zimmerman stood expressionless as the judge explained that there is probable cause in his case and a bead of sweat trickled down his face as the judge explained the conditions for his release.

The state attorney said that the victim, identified by police as Zimmerman's girlfriend Samantha Scheibe, said there was a prior domestic violence incident a week-and-a-half ago that involved "a choking."

The victim also said that Zimmerman has threatened to commit suicide, saying he "had nothing to lose," the state attorney said.

"She is in fear for her safety," the state attorney said of the victim. The victim asked for "no contact and no return."

His arraignment will be Jan. 7, 2014.

Jeff Dowdy, chief of Seminole County Public Defender's Office, is Zimmerman's new attorney. In a news conference after the hearing, he told reporters it was "too early to say if it's a meltdown but we'll find out."

Assistant public defender Daniel Megaro said he was "confident" Zimmerman will be acquitted. He said the allegation that Zimmerman has been suicidal was "news to us."

He also said that Zimmerman has maintained his innocence.

"Of course he's sorry for what happened, but he's maintaining his innocence," the attorney said.

They attorneys said they did not see anything in Zimmerman's behavior that caused any immediate concern for his safety or that he would be a danger to anybody else.

Before the hearing, Dowdy told reporters that Zimmerman is "indigent" and about $2.5 million in debt.

When asked how Zimmerman was doing after a night in jail, Dowdy said, "He's upset. He's calm, but he's upset. He wants to go home."

Zimmerman, 30, was arrested Monday after a "domestic disturbance" with his girlfriend. He now faces a felony charge of aggravated assault and the lesser charges of battery domestic violence and criminal mischief.

Zimmerman's girlfriend, who the Seminole County Sheriff's Office identified as Samantha Scheibe, told a 911 dispatcher that the incident began when the former neighborhood watch captain grew upset during an argument and brandished a weapon at her.

"He's in my house, breaking all my s--- because I asked him to leave," Scheibe told the dispatcher.

"He's got a freaking gun breaking all my stuff right now."

Scheibe said Zimmerman then pushed her out the home that they have shared ever since

Zimmerman became estranged with his wife and locked her out. Authorities said when they arrived Scheibe gave them keys to the home, and that they had to push through obstacles by the door to get in.

"When we arrived, the victim indicated that she and George Zimmerman were having a verbal dispute and at that time she alleged that he had broken a table and pointed a long-barrel shotgun at her," Seminole County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Dennis Lemma said at a news conference.

However, Zimmerman tells a different tale. He told police in a separate 911 call that she instigated the incident.

"My girlfriend has ... for lack of a better word, gone crazy on me," said Zimmerman while police knocked on the door trying to speak with him.

"The police is already there and so why are you calling? What happened?" the dispatcher asked.
Zimmerman replied, "I just want everyone to know the truth."

Zimmerman asked to speak with an officer on the phone. He was unarmed when police got to him and "rather passive," Lemma said. He offered no resistance and was taken into custody. He is being held without bond and if a judge decides to let him go free, authorities have requested that he once again be outfitted with an electronic monitoring device.

Late Monday night police were seen removing what looked like evidence from the home.

Zimmerman became a controversial figure when he shot and killed unarmed black teen Trayvon Martin. He was acquitted of second-degree murder in July.

Zimmerman conceded he shot and killed Martin in Sanford, Fla., on Feb. 26, 2012, but maintained he fired in self-defense. His acquittal caused widespread anger.

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