Updated at 8 p.m. ET
George Zimmerman won’t be charged “anytime soon” in connection with an altercation involving his estranged wife Shellie, police in Lake Mary, Fla., said.
Lake Mary Police Public Information Officer Zach Hudson said police lacked the evidence to make any charges–primarily because they have been unable to retrieve video from an iPad destroyed during the incident.
“As it stands right now there will not be any charges anytime soon without that iPad, and that could be weeks, months away,” Hudson said. Shellie Zimmerman blamed the iPad’s destruction on George during her 911 call recorded Monday, saying he took her “iPad out of my hand and smashed it and cut it with a pocket knife.” Police say that George Zimmerman claimed Shellie destroyed it by hitting him with it.
Hudson said the department is still deciding where to send the iPad for more intensive repair and retrieval.
“At this point we’re doing everything humanly possible and investing as much as physically possible in order to get that video,” Hudson said. “And sooner or later we hope to have something, but at this point there’s definitely no guarantee.”
He also addressed questions about whether similar cases involving domestic disputes receive comparable levels of time and attention from the police.
“The only reason why you’re seeing this much attention is obviously who that person is, but the truth is if you yourself had a domestic [dispute] in your home, tonight,” he said, “we would be doing the exact same thing to get that information because that’s critical to the citizens of this city.”
During the 911 call, Shellie Zimmerman can be heard telling the dispatcher that George Zimmerman was in his car with his hand on his gun “threatening all of us.”
“I don’t know what he’s capable of,” she said later. “I’m really, really scared.”
She later updated her story, telling police she never definitively saw a gun, and police said they never found one. George Zimmerman’s lawyer told reporters Monday that he did have a gun but “never took the weapon out.”
At a press conference Wednesday afternoon, Shellie Zimmerman’s lawyer Kelly Sims explained why she had “a valid reason why she believed George was armed” that day, pointing out that he wore his shirt differently than she was accustomed to, and that she’d seen packaging for a new holster.
“Anybody in the world that knows their husband’s always armed, has his shirt worn differently, has a brand new holster, where this would be where he is placing his hand, and he’s inviting some trouble, would know he’s probably armed,” Sims said. “You don’t want to take a chance. But add into that equation your husband happens to be named George Zimmerman. And what do you do?”
According to Sims account, the altercation occurred when George arrived at the home from which Shellie was retrieving some of her belongings, after he had agreed to stay away during that time.
Sims spoke about how Shellie felt as if her relationship with her husband was deteriorating even before the Trayvon Martin case, but that the relief and improvement she had hoped for in the wake of the not-guilty verdict never came. He also said that George Zimmerman had spent only three or four days in at “the marital home” since the trial ended.
Sims said his client wanted to get her side of the story out for the “world court” to see, but confirmed she still has no interest in pressing charges over the incident.
“The only thing that Shellie wants out of this ending of this relationship is it for end with a whimper, and not a bang,” he said. “That’s what she wants. She does not want there to be this kind of drama.”
“Shellie’s desire is to stay as far away from him as she can for the rest of her days. She wants to stay away as long and as far as she can from George,” Sims said later. “And hopefully he feels the same way about her. That’s why people get divorced. They don’t want to hang out.”