George Zimmerman charged with stalking, threatening private investigator
SANFORD, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - The Seminole County Sheriff's Office has charged George Zimmerman with aggravated stalking.
In court documents obtained by FOX 35, it is alleged that Zimmerman, 34, threatened and harassed a private investigator in December of last year.
According to documents, the private investigator was hired by a production company to assist in finding people who might have interest in participating in a documentary centered around the life of Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman was acquitted of second-degree murder in the 2012 shooting death of Martin, 17. The unarmed teenager was visiting his father at the gated community in Sanford, Florida, where Zimmerman was a neighborhood watch coordinator.
The Sheriff's Office investigated the case and delivered their findings to the State Attorney's Office for Brevard and Seminole counties in March.
According to the investigation, the private investigator told deputies he had contacted Zimmerman in September, on behalf of the executive producer of the documentary, and gave him information on how to contact him.
Since that initial contact, Zimmerman had become upset that some of his family members had been contacted and solicited for potential participation in the documentary, according to court documents. Zimmerman contacted the executive producer of the documentary, expressing his agitation over this, and he allegedly sent threatening texts and emails to the private investigator.
According to documents, Zimmerman sent the private investigator two separate text messages containing a website link to a news article. In the forwarded link, Zimmerman was quoted as saying "I know how to handle people who [expletive removed] with me, I have since February of 2012." And, "Anyone who [expletive removed] with my parents will be fed to an alligator." The private investigator stated that these threats created a concern for his physical safety.
"An evaluation of the evidence against Zimmerman was conducted by experienced prosecutors," said Todd Brown, a spokesman for the State Attorney's Office.
Brown added that prosecutors believe the alleged crime "can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt at trial."
Zimmerman has an arraignment hearing scheduled for May 30.