The Free Press, Mankato, MN

State, national news

September 11, 2013

iPad video becomes key in George Zimmerman case

LAKE MARY, Fla. (AP) — Police in central Florida have been focusing on a broken iPad in their investigation of a domestic dispute between George Zimmerman and his estranged wife this week.

Without video from the iPad or some other piece of independent evidence, legal experts said it will be hard to build a case because Shellie Zimmerman changed her story about her husband threatening her with a gun and decided not to press charges.

"I think it's severely limited if they can't get anything from an eyewitness or video," said Randy McClean, a former prosecutor who now practices criminal defense and family law in central Florida.

Police said Tuesday they were confident they would be able to get video from Shellie Zimmerman's broken iPad, and the evidence will help them determine if charges should be filed.

Investigators believe the mobile device captured video of Monday's dispute at the Lake Mary house where the Zimmermans had been living. Shellie Zimmerman told authorities he smashed it to pieces, but the former neighborhood watch volunteer said she hit him with it. Police said it was examined at a crime lab, and the chances of them being able to watch the video were "outstanding," but it wasn't clear when that might happen.

"As of right now, we're waiting on the iPad as the last piece of the puzzle," Lake Mary police spokesman Zach Hudson said.

Lake Mary is about 7 miles southwest of Sanford, where George Zimmerman fatally shot unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin during an altercation last year. Zimmerman, who identifies himself as Hispanic, was acquitted in July of all charges in the shooting.

Shellie Zimmerman, 26, had moved out of the house last month but stopped by with her father Monday to gather some remaining items. Shellie Zimmerman's father owns the house with his wife.

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