Thursday 14 December 2017

Trayvon man tried to 'choke girlfriend'

George Zimmerman
George Zimmerman

Mike Schneider, Florida

A former neighbourhood watchman acquitted in the high-profile killing of an unarmed black teen tried to choke his girlfriend and left her fearing for her life, a court heard.

George Zimmerman (30), pictured, made his first court appearance after his latest brush with the law, for which he faces charges of aggravated assault. He was acquitted earlier this year of all charges in the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin after a sensational trial that sparked debates across the US about race and self-defence laws.

Mr Zimmerman's 27-year-old girlfriend, Samantha Scheibe, accused him in a police call of pointing a gun at her, smashing a coffee table and then pushing her outside. Mr Zimmerman also called dispatchers, flatly denying pointing a gun at her and blaming her for the broken table.

The prosecutor said Ms Scheibe feared for her life because Mr Zimmerman mentioned suicide and said he "had nothing to lose". Mr Zimmerman's public defenders said after the hearing that he didn't appear to be suicidal.

Mr Zimmerman was ordered by a judge that he not possess guns or ammunition. He was also ordered to stay away from Ms Scheibe's house and wear a monitoring device.

Mr Zimmerman was acquitted earlier this year of all charges in the shooting death of 17-year-old Martin, an African-American whose relatives accused Mr Zimmerman of racially profiling the teen and instigating a fight.

Irish Independent

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