George Zimmerman is most infamous for the accidental, fatal shooting that happened in 2012 as Zimmerman crossed paths with Trayvon Martin. Leaving any speculation or bias aide, George Zimmerman took Trayvon Martin’s life and was focused on by the news for the better part of several months, and was eventually acquitted – much to the general public’s belief, or disbelief. Read on more to learn about George Zimmerman and how his encounter with Trayvon Martin has changed his entire life.
George Zimmerman in his Youth
George Zimmerman, an otherwise ordinary and unexciting man, now has all sorts of intrusive details published about him thanks to the Trayvon Martin case placing him under extreme scrutiny. Zimmerman was born in 1983 to two parents in Virginia, and was the third youngest child out of four total children. His mother was born in Peru, and ironically, has some African heritage in her lineage, and his father was of German-American descent.
Zimmerman enjoyed a peaceful and quiet upbringing, and eventually served as an altar boy for the local Catholic church as a young boy. He also attended catholic school, prior to attending general education schools. He would then go on to attempt to become a marine as a 15-year-old young adult, but did not reach his goal of actively serving the country. After graduation, George Zimmerman relocated down to Orlando, Florida, and found a job as an insurance agent. He worked his insurance job during the day and took classes, offered by the insurance agency, at night. Zimmerman would befriend a real estate agent, who was married to John Donnelly, an attorney who graduated from the Sanford alma matter. John Donnelly and his wife would eventually testify at the eventual Trayvon Martin trial, trying to benefit George.
George Zimmerman eventually married Shellie Dean, where they then moved to a townhome together. Zimmerman had moved on from his insurance agency job into a car dealership position, and even worked at a mortgage audit business. Zimmerman continued his higher education and enrolled in some local community colleges – ironically enough, George Zimmerman was only one credit away from being allowed to graduate, which he was attempting to complete when the eventual Trayvon Martin shooting happened.
George Zimmerman and the Trayvon Martin Controversy
The main reason George Zimmerman was brought into the focus of the media is, quite obviously, because of his fatal shooting against Trayvon Martin. George Zimmerman volunteered as the neighborhood watch captain, where Trayvon Martin was supposedly temporarily staying with his grandmother. On February 26, 2012, George Zimmerman fired shots that killed Trayvon Martin, and on April 11, 21012, was charged with second degree murder for the death of then-17 years old Trayvon Martin.
George Zimmerman would eventually go on trial, but until then, he had been released on $150,000 and was forced to wear an ankle bracelet for 24/7 monitoring on his location. The trial began on April 12, 2012, and George Zimmerman, through his attorneys, entered into a not guilty plea. Eventually, however, Zimmerman was forced back into jail because neither Zimmerman nor his wife had 100% truthfully disclosed their family finances – apparently, a PayPal account by the codename of “Peter Pan” had been used to funnel money into the Zimmerman account. Zimmerman was then forced into a second bail bond hearing in May of 2012, and was forced to sit at a $1 million bond.
The trial eventually began in May 2012 with the defense receiving the first round of evidence, which consisted of 67 different CDs, a long list of witnesses that included more than 75 different police officers and nearly 30 civilian witnesses, including members of both George Zimmeran’s and Trayvon Martin’s families. Additional evidence was eventually released, which contained audio and video recordings, witness statements, the Trayvon Martin autopsy report, and any evidence gathered by the responding police department immediately after the shooting was called into 911.
In June of 2012, more evidence was released; this time, two 911 phone calls were released that were placed by Trayvon Martin’s father the morning after the fatal shooting. By the time the trial took place in July of 2011, more than 150 separate pieces of evidence were released which ranged from eyewitness accounts to DNA tests performed on the gun that George Zimmerman had used.
One unique aspect to the cast was the absolute scope and scale of it all, which meant that finding fair, unbiased jurors would be incredibly difficult. Jury selection initially began with 100 potential jurors being given questionnaires, and more than 500 people received summonings to the courthouse. Eventually, the judge had agreed with the defense to create an anonymous jury, where nothing that could identify anything about the Jurors would be released. Some drama followed with the selection of the jurors, but nothing major happened – on June 20 of 2013, six jurors and four alternative jurors were finally selected. Interestingly enough, all six of the main jurors were female, while two of the alternatives were male.
The prosecution and defense went back and forth against each other for more than a month, which included a wide variety of evidence such as 911 phone calls and numerous other eyewitness testimonies. Eventually, the jury verdict ruled that George Zimmerman was not guilty of second degree murder or manslaughter, and instead was practicing his right to the “Stand your Ground” law. Stand Your Ground implies that a defender, against any assailant, has the right to return the use of force with greater or even deadly force if they feel that their life is at risk. This was all circumstantial to the evidence, which had hinted that at some point, Trayvon Martin ended up on top of George Zimmerman and had a physical advantage over him.
George Zimmerman put on more than 100 pounds during the trial due to the stress and anxiety of the situation, and this was noted by news outlets and the courts alike. The public response was not a positive one, and organizations such as the NAACP voiced their concern about the potential racism for such a case – despite there being sufficient evidence that showed that Zimmerman was definitely being physically assaulted. In the aftermath, there were few riots, but ultimately, various police departments ensured that police reigned throughout, despite the unpopular Jury verdict.
What’s George Zimmerman Doing Now in 2018 – Recent Updates
Since the trial that started in 2012 and lasted through July of 2013, George Zimmerman has found himself in trouble with the law numerous times. George Zimmerman’s family has also found themselves answering to police officers more than once – Zimmerman’s wife was sentenced to probation and community service for lying under oath, which stems from the fact that the two of them had lied about their family finances.
Zimmerman was also involved in a road rage incident, where he attempted to point out that a man’s tire was deflating. The man then pointed out that Zimmerman had shot and killed Trayvon Martin, which caused Zimmerman to flee and avoid the man. This was in 2014; in 2015, Zimmerman was shot by the same man, which ended up causing minor injuries thanks to the debris. The man claimed that he was acting under the Stand Your Ground legislature, and was justified in his self-defense. The man was eventually charged with second-degree attempted murder. Just recently in September of 2016, the man was confirmed and convicted for his attempted murder, and sentenced to more than 20 years in jail.
George Zimmerman also attempted to sell the gun that fired the bullet that slew Trayvon Martin, which drew criticism from both the United States population and the two auctioning websites that he tried to list the gun for sale on. The gun was listed for more than $250,000, receiving troll bids from users such as “Tamir Rice” and “Donald Trump.” Eventually, however, George Zimmerman sold the gun for around $100,000, which he claims has all been donated to a charity.
George Zimmerman also began painting patriotic pictures to relieve his anxiety and stress following the Trayvon Martin trial. One of these paintings turned out to be a stock image taken from Shutterstock, as it was simply a blue-tinted American flag.. George Zimmerman would then move on to attempt to sell paintings of his take on the Confederate battle flag, which drew massive controversy; the purchasers of one of these prints owned a gun store, which claimed that his store was “Muslim free.”
George Zimmerman has also been involved in numerous Twitter scandals, which is a fair warning to anyone under scrutiny that they should definitely stay off social media. This included retweeting a picture of a topless woman, calling Obama racial slurs, and even retweeting the image of Trayvon Martin’s body with an obnoxious caption claiming George Zimmerman as a hero. Overall, Zimmerman seems to inject himself into controversy and the media whenever possible, and would best serve to be forgotten about.