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    George Zimmerman Tag

    In the aftermath of Shellie Zimmerman's perjury charges, the Florida Bar opened an investigation into whether George Zimmerman's lawyer Mark O'Mara may have solicited her false testimony. Shellie Zimmerman ultimately accepted a plea offer on the charges, receiving one year probation and no jail time, as reported here at Legal Insurrection: Shellie Zimmerman Plea Deal [caption id="attachment_76902" align="alignnone" width="450"]Shellie Zimmerman, with her then-husband George Zimmerman Shellie Zimmerman, with her then-husband George Zimmerman[/caption] Today, the Florida Bar concluded that there was no credible evidence that O'Mara engaged in any such misconduct. The closing of this investigation follows closely on the heels of O'Mara being named the National Trial Lawyer's Criminal Trial Lawyer of 2013, as previously reported here at Legal Insurrection: Zimmerman Attorney Mark O’Mara Named “National Criminal Trial Lawyer of 2013″ In the interview below, conducted a few days ago, O'Mara talked about how the case has affected his practice, and life:

    The painting above is, or was, available on Ebay, and was catching on after George Zimmerman's famous art success. It portrays George Zimmerman as a hooded Klansman executing Trayvon. At this point, people like that artist are beyond hope. He obviously didn't watch the trial and is unfamiliar with the actual facts of the case.  Or doesn't care about the facts. Via Mediaite, Anti-Zimmerman Artwork Pulled Down by eBay as Zimmerman’s Painting Sells for $100K:
    If George Zimmerman can sell his first-ever painting for more than $100,000 on eBay, why shouldn’t another artist be able to sell his anti-Zimmerman piece for a fraction of that price? On the same day that Zimmerman’s auction closed, eBay reportedly yanked a piece by artist Michael D’Antuono .... D’Antuono explained the situation on his blog:
    On the same day that George Zimmerman closed his ebay auction of his painting for over $100,000, the online auctioneers removed my anti-racism painting inspired by the Zimmerman case, “A Tale Of Two Hoodies” for being “hateful or discriminatory.” While Zimmerman was allowed to capitalize on his ill-gotten notoriety, I was denied the opportunity to raise funds to help the very foundation named in honor of Zimmerman’s victim.

    These are good days for George Zimmerman. He's selling art for big bucks, he got his guns back, and ..., um, well, he's back with Samantha Sheibe. Becca Lower brings us all this news which may portend more blog posts here in the future. From the L.A. Times:
    How much is a painting created by George Zimmerman worth? For one EBay bidder, $100,099.99 was just the right price. The user’s prize: A signed 18-inch-by-24-inch oil painting of a blue American flag featuring a part of the Pledge of Allegiance, which had a starting bid of $0.99. The identity of the buyer is unknown, but according to the listing, the winning auction bid was one of 96 by 24 users when bidding closed at 9:55 a.m. Saturday. Using the EBay account “therealgeorgez,” Zimmerman, 30, put his artwork up for auction early this week. "Everyone has been asking what I have been doing with myself," the listing reads. "I found a creative way to express myself, my emotions and the symbols that represent my experiences. My art work allows me to reflect, providing a therapeutic outlet and allows me to remain indoors :-)"
    Becca also points to this news at Bob Owen's Bearing Arms blog (via ABC)(emphasis added):

    Just days ago we reported that George Zimmerman’s girlfriend wanted to drop charges and filed a court affidavit denying that any crime was committed. Prosecutors just announced that the State will drop charges.  Zimmerman's ankle monitor was removed and he is a completely free man now. Via AP:
    Prosecutors say they will not file domestic violence charges against George Zimmerman after his girlfriend said in a sworn statement she did not want to pursue the case. State Attorney Phil Archer in Seminole County said in a statement Wednesday that Samantha Scheibe's decision not to cooperate and the lack of other corroborating evidence made a successful prosecution unlikely. Zimmerman had faced charges of aggravated assault, battery and criminal mischief following a Nov. 18 incident at the central Florida house he shared with Scheibe. She initially told police Zimmerman pointed a shotgun at her face, then recanted in an affidavit filed this week. Zimmerman was acquitted last summer in the shooting death of unarmed, black teenager Trayvon Martin. The case sparked a nationwide debate about race and self-defense laws.
    https://twitter.com/JeffWeinerOS/status/410888409184358400

    I told you there were problems with the most recent arrest of George Zimmerman allegedly for pointing a shotgun at his girlfriend, when it came out that the girlfriend, Samantha Scheibe, was shopping for a paid interview prior to the incident. Now, according to court filings (embedded at bottom of post), Sheibe wants to drop the charges. Via Orlando Sentinel:
    George Zimmerman's girlfriend — who authorities said accused him of pointing a shotgun at her — no longer wants him to be prosecuted, and wants to resume their relationship, according a new motion. A sworn statement made by the girlfriend, Samantha Scheibe, was attached to a motion by Zimmerman's lawyer seeking to modify the conditions of Zimmerman's bond in his domestic violence case. In the statement, Scheibe says she felt "intimidated" when police questioned her about the Nov. 18 incident that led to Zimmerman's arrest. She adds that she "may have misspoken." "I want to be with George," Scheibe says in the statement, adding later: "I do not want George Zimmerman charged. I make this decision freely, knowingly and voluntarily," and without coercion, she says. She says that she and Zimmerman had an "argument," but Zimmerman "never pointed a gun at or torward my face in a threatening manner."
    The original 911 call (language warning):

    George Zimmerman has hired Jayne Weintraub to defend the domestic assault charges arising out of accusations from Zimmerman's girlfriend, Samantha Scheibe:
    George Zimmerman has hired a new lawyer to handle the domestic violence case against him. The public defender who was representing Zimmerman tells local media that he has hired attorney and frequent cable news contributor Jayne Weintraub. As Bob Kealing tells us, some legal analysts are questioning Zimmerman's new hire. "It really boggles the mind." WESH 2 legal analyst Richard Hornsby says it appears George Zimmerman has chosen south Florida defense attorney Jayne Weintraub because of her high profile on cable television.
    [caption id="attachment_71823" align="aligncenter" width="483"](Jayne Weintraub) (Jayne Weintraub)[/caption] Court records released today also indicated the weapons Zimmerman had in his possession at the time of his arrest:

    Almost as soon as George Zimmerman was arrested, a report surfaced that girlfriend Samantha Scheibe, who made the dramatic phone call to 911, had been shopping her story to national media for several weeks -- but no one would pay her what she wanted. The Orlando Sentinel confirmed that at least one national media outlet (unnamed) had such communications:
    WKMG's report that the women were seeking money for interviews with national news organizations was confirmed to the Sentinel by one such organization.
    Not unexpectedly, the Zimmerman defense team is letting it be known that this was a set-up, via TMZ:
    George Zimmerman was duped and done in by a lying GF who faked a pregnancy to keep him around and then framed him when she realized he was leaving her ... sources connected with Zimmerman tell TMZ. George is now facing felony domestic violence charges after Samantha Scheibe claimed he threatened her with a gun and forced her out of their house. Our Zimmerman sources say ... here's how it really went down:

    UPDATES: Judge finds probable cause (no surprise). Prosecutor discloses unreported prior choking incident about a week ago. State asked for $50,000 bond, and certain exclusion zones, no contact, no weapons possession, etc. Defense asked for $4,900 based on state bond schedule. Judge sets $9,000 bond. Can't return to girlfriend's residence, except if accompanied by law enforcement one time. [corrected - later in hearing judge said Zimmerman should send someone else.] Can't have contact with girlfriend. No possession of firearms. Will have tracking device. No traveling outsided Florida. Judge: "I'm not increasing your bond because of anything that happened in the past. As far as I'm concerned, this is a brand new case." [caption id="attachment_71235" align="alignnone" width="624"](George Zimmerman with his attorneys at November 19, 2013 bond hearing) (George Zimmerman with his attorneys at November 19, 2013 bond hearing)[/caption]

    Reuters reports that Sanford, Florida -- the town where George Zimmerman successfully and lawfully defended his life by shooting and killing a vicious attacker, Trayvon Martin -- has passed new rules for how neighborhood watch volunteers may conduct themselves. In particular, it forbids them from being armed with a firearm, as well as from pursuing a suspicious person. Florida city bans guns for neighborhood watch volunteers:
    The Florida city where neighborhood watch leader George Zimmerman shot and killed unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin is changing the rules on how civilian patrols can operate to help prevent a recurrence and revive the program's reputation. The new rules, to be released at a community meeting on November 5 in Sanford, Florida, will state explicitly that residents acting under the authority of neighborhood watch may not carry a firearm or pursue someone they deem suspicious.
    The Reuters piece, published in the Chicago Tribune, notes that the "prosecution accused [Zimmerman] of racially profiling Martin, a high school student visiting from Miami, and then pursuing, confronting and shooting him." Nowhere in the article -- seriously, nowhere -- do they mention the vicious, life-threatening beating that Martin launched against Zimmerman without any just cause (even Martin's girlfriend, who was on the phone with him at the moment of the attack, testified that it was Martin who initiated the physical conflict). Local News 13 further reports:
    Sanford's new police chief, Cecil Smith, said the neighborhood watch program as it was operated while Zimmerman was part of it was dysfunctional and had no accountability. "In this program, it is clearly stated that you will not pursue an individual," Smith explained. "In this new program, it clearly indicates that you will not carry a firearm when performing your duties as a neighborhood watch captain or participant."
    I expect Sanford FL will encounter one, or both, of the following two realities in short order:

    The Orlando Sentinel reports that an ad hoc Florida state Senate panel, drawn together specifically to advocate changes to Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law, has emerged to announce that there should be changes to Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law. The key change sought by the panel is to impose limits on the immunity from civil liability for people who lawfully defend themselves against lethal attack.  In other words, civil damage lawsuits even after an acquittal. Ironically, the changes advocated by the “Stand Your Ground” committee do not target Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” statute at all--§776.013(3). Home protection; use of deadly force; presumption of fear of death or great bodily harm—but rather seek to undermine Florida’s self-defense immunity statute—§776.032. Immunity from criminal prosecution and civil action for justifiable use of force. [caption id="attachment_58288" align="alignnone" width="446"](Defense attorney Mark O'Mara during Zimmerman trial) (Defense attorney Mark O'Mara during Zimmerman trial)[/caption] Even a cursory reading of the law reveals that the Stand Your Ground statute has nothing whatever to do with the Self-Defense Immunity statute, other than having been adopted by the same session of the Florida legislature. Indeed, the legislators have simply cloaked their desire to re-impose criminal and civil liability on law-abiding people, who act in genuine self-defense, under the guise of “fighting” Stand Your Ground. In doing so, these feckless legislators  merely reveal the duplicitous nature of their actions. Under current Florida law, an unlawful aggressor who seeks to sue their victims for harm suffered at the hands of the defending victims will be compelled to reimburse the victim if the victim's use of force is judged to have been lawful self-defense.  It is precisely this provision that keeps the lawyers advising the Trayvon Martin family from bringing suit against George Zimmerman.
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