George Zimmerman’s girlfriend wants charges dropped, document says
George Zimmerman’s girlfriend is asking a judge to lift an order that blocks her from seeing him and says she wants charges against him dropped.
In a court document obtained by CNN Monday, Samantha Scheibe says she wants a no-contact provision against Zimmerman lifted so the couple can “talk and be together.”
“I am not afraid of George in any manner and I want to be with him,” she says.
Zimmerman was arrested on November 18 at Scheibe’s Apopka, Florida, home after the two had a heated fight. According to a police report about the incident, Scheibe said that after an argument, Zimmerman broke a table with a shotgun and then pointed it at her “for a minute.”
But in a signed affidavit filed by Zimmerman’s attorney, Jayne Weintraub, Scheibe says Zimmerman “never pointed a gun at or toward my face in a threatening manner” and claims police misinterpreted her.
“I believe that the police misinterpreted me and that I may have misspoken about certain facts in my statement to the police,” she said. “I do not feel that the arrest report accurately recounts what happened.”
Zimmerman is charged with aggravated assault and misdemeanor counts of domestic violence battery and criminal mischief in the incident.
He was released on $9,000 bail and has entered a plea of not guilty in the case.
Zimmerman’s attorney told HLN Monday that Scheibe had reached out to her through a lawyer. The statement, Weintraub said, is a sign that prosecutors should drop charges.
“All I can tell you is that from what I see, I would hope that the State Attorney’s Office takes pause, takes a step back, exercises its discretion and declines prosecution,” she said.
A judge last month ordered a number of conditions for Zimmerman’s freedom — including that he not possess weapons — while he awaits trial.
“I do not want George Zimmerman charged,” Scheibe wrote. “I make this decision freely, knowingly and voluntarily, without any intimidation or undue influences.”
Lynne Bumpus Hooper, a spokeswoman for the Seminole County State Attorney’s Office, said no hearing has been scheduled on the motion to modify the conditions of pretrial release.
The November incident came four months after Zimmerman, a former neighborhood watch captain, was acquitted of second-degree murder and manslaughter charges in the death of teenager Trayvon Martin.
The high-profile case sparked a heated nationwide discussion of race as well as debate over Florida’s “stand your ground” law.
His attorney says that’s another reason prosecutors should reconsider the November case.
“Because of who he is, he’s walking around with a target on his back,” Weintraub told HLN.
Differing 911 calls
On a 911 call recording released by police after the November 18 incident, a woman can be heard telling authorities: “He’s inside my house breaking all my (things) because I asked him to leave.”
The woman then says to someone at the house, “I’m doing this again? You just broke my glass table. You just broke my sunglasses and you put your gun in my freaking face and told me to get the (expletive) out.”
A man is heard telling her to calm down, but then she tells the dispatcher that the man just pushed her out of the house and locked the door.
Police also released a 911 call from Zimmerman describing the dispute.
In his 911 call, Zimmerman says that his girlfriend was, “for lack of a better term, going crazy on me” and throwing his things out. He says the woman is outside with police.
Asked why he is calling, Zimmerman says, “I just want everyone to know the truth.”
He says he never pulled a firearm and that it is in a bag, locked. And he says she was the one who broke the table.
“He did not point the gun at her or threaten her with it,” Weintraub told HLN on Monday.
Scheibe: Police intimidated me
In the court document filed this week, Scheibe accuses police of pressuring her.
“When I was being questioned by police, I felt very intimidated,” she said. “I was not allowed to call an attorney nor was I allowed to eat or drink anything for a very long time.”
Heather Smith, a spokeswoman for the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office, denied that claim.
“As you know, we provided media with the 911 call from Ms. Scheibe, which occurred prior to deputies responding,” she said. “Apparently, Ms. Scheibe may have misspoken about the facts of her interview as she had access to her phone and was provided with food.”
Analysts: ‘We see this every day’
Statements like Scheibe’s are all too common in domestic violence cases, legal analysts said.
“Unfortunately, we see this every day,” HLN contributor Jon Lieberman told CNN’s sister network. “Victims get scared and they don’t want to go forward.”
Wendy Murphy, a former prosecutor, told HLN she doesn’t believe prosecutors should drop the charges against Zimmerman or that a judge should allow the couple to have contact.
“The reason a no-contact order is not under a victim’s control is because it’s a decision of the court to protect the integrity of the prosecution,” she said. “This is the government’s case. It’s not her case.”