'Insufficient evidence' to file charges in Zimmerman dispute, police say

  • There is "insufficient evidence" to file charges in September incident, cops say
  • Shellie Zimmerman told 911 estranged husband, George, had hit her dad
  • Video on a smashed iPad could not be recovered, Secret Service says
  • George Zimmerman was acquitted in the death of Trayvon Martin

By Graham Winch


(CNN) -- Investigators on Thursday said no charges will result from an alleged domestic dispute in September between George Zimmerman and his estranged wife, Shellie Zimmerman.

Police in Lake Mary, Florida, released a report saying that there is "insufficient evidence" to prosecute the case because forensic experts could not recover video from an iPad that George Zimmerman allegedly damaged during the altercation. The iPad belonged to Shellie Zimmerman.

Investigators sent the iPad to the U.S. Secret Service for examination.

"No further examination is possible at this lab due to the severely damaged components and encryption on the flash memory" of the iPad, reads a report written by Special Agent Jonathan Jacobs with the Secret Service's Criminal Investigative Division.

Another report written by Lake Mary Police Detective Ronald Tomassi said the investigation into the altercation is over.

"I received notification that the State Attorney's office had confirmed there was insufficient evidence to prosecute this case. Items were returned to evidence, and this case is exceptionally cleared with the State Attorney's Office decision. My involvement is concluded in this case," Tomassi's report said.

Police have said Shellie Zimmerman called 911 from a phone at her father's house in Lake Mary, claiming her estranged husband was threatening her and her father with a weapon. On the call, Shellie Zimmerman said George Zimmerman "punched her father in the nose" and "took her iPad out of her hands and smashed it and cut it with a pocket knife."

Zach Hudson, Lake Mary Police spokesman, said police responding to the scene did not find a weapon on Zimmerman.

"If he had one, it was not on his person when we made contact with him. Shellie Zimmerman and Shellie Zimmerman's father never saw a weapon. Neither did the other four people that were in the front, in the area, while this whole thing was going on. So as of right now a gun is not part of the equation," Hudson said.

Investigators had said they would evaluate whether to press charges in the case after recovering video from the damaged iPad.

"The iPad is in really bad shape," Hudson said on September 11, two days after the incident. "It could take weeks or months to get video off the iPad."

The alleged dispute came days after Shellie Zimmerman filed for divorce and 58 days after a Florida jury acquitted the former neighborhood-watch captain of second-degree murder and manslaughter charges in Trayvon Martin's death.

Since his acquittal, Zimmerman has been stopped for speeding twice. He was pulled over the first time in Forney, Texas, in July and told the police officer he had a concealed weapon permit and a gun in his glove compartment. The officer wrote on his incident report that he gave Zimmerman a verbal warning.

Zimmerman was pulled over in early September going 60 mph in a 45-mph zone in Lake Mary and received a $256 ticket. He was not carrying a weapon at the time.

In August, Zimmerman stirred controversy by visiting a Florida gun manufacturer, Kel-Tec, TMZ reported. That company makes the gun that Zimmerman used to shoot Martin.

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