By now, you’ve probably heard that George Zimmerman was re-arrested. This time, he’s charged with felony aggravated assault and two misdemeanors, domestic violence battery and criminal mischief. The arrest occurred this Monday, approximately 1:30 p.m. in Apopka, Florida.
Zimmerman’s girlfriend alleges, as memorialized in the arrest report, that he pointed his shotgun at her “for one minute.” Additionally, she alleges that just before committing the aggravated assault, he broke her table using the butt of his shot gun. (hence, the criminal mischief charge) The basis for the domestic violence battery charge stems from her allegation that he pushed her.
The alleged victim’s 911 call seems to corroborate what she is alleging. Zimmerman also called 911, however, had a different version as to what took place. He alleges that his girlfriend was, “for lack of a better term, going crazy on me.” He further explained to the 911 operator that she was throwing all his property out. Zimmerman further claimed that while he did have a firearm with him, he never pulled it out, keeping it locked safely in his bag. Regarding the busted table, Zimmerman alleges that his girlfriend did it.
O.K., so here’s why Zimmerman will probably walk on this one too. First, he may be innocent. Let’s face it, none of us knows what went on between those two. She wouldn’t be the first scorned woman to either lie and/or stretch the truth for personal benefit. Secondly, he may be guilty as heck, however, the evidence may be lacking.
As to the most serious charge, the aggravated assault, where Zimmerman is facing up to five years in prison with a three year minimum mandatory, the only evidence that the crime occurred will be coming from the alleged victim’s lips. This one becomes the classic, “She said, he said.” While jurors may feel he “may have” pointed his weapon at her, or he “most definitely probably” did, that’s not enough under the law. We learned that with the Casey Anthony case. The same analysis applies to the other two charges. Only she can say that he broke the table and pushed her.
I’m not suggesting that prosecutors cannot prove this case with just the alleged victim’s words, however, I don’t think it’s likely that prosecutors will reach the highest burden under the law, which is proof beyond a reasonable doubt. In this day and age of CSI New York/Miami, jurors expect forensic evidence to back up the claims of witnesses. Absent that objective evidence, they are more inclined to find reasonable doubt.
So, for those who are certain that this new arrest will do to Zimmerman what the second arrest did to O.J., I say, “Not so fast.” At best, the evidence against Zimmerman will be weak, and that’s before his attorney digs up impeachment evidence against the alleged victim. Is an acquittal guaranteed? No. However, if I’m a betting man, I’m putting my money on jurors coming back with two words vs. one (“not guilty”).