Attorney: Zimmerman will plead no contest in stalking case
SANFORD, Fla. (AP) — Former neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman will plead no contest to resolve a misdemeanor charge accusing him of stalking a private investigator working for a documentary filmmaker, Zimmerman’s attorney said in court Wednesday.
Zimmerman will enter a written plea of no contest next month and serve some probation, though the length of probation and other terms won’t be disclosed until the plea is entered, said Zimmerman’s attorney, Zahra Umansky.
Under such a plea, a defendant doesn’t admit guilt, and a conviction is withheld if the conditions of the plea are met.
“It’s an agreement we’ve reached with the state because we believe it’s in his best interests to amicably resolve this case,” said Umansky after a brief hearing in Sanford, Florida.
Prosecutors wouldn’t comment as they left the courtroom.
Zimmerman fatally shot black teenager Trayvon Martin in 2012 in the central Florida city of Sanford. Zimmerman, who identifies as Hispanic, was acquitted of all charges in a case that raised questions about race and Florida’s “stand your ground” self-defense law which allows people to use force without retreating if they feel threatened.
Critics say the law unfairly allows young black men to be victimized by gun violence.
Zimmerman was accused of sending threatening messages to a private investigator who had contacted him about a documentary series on Martin. The documentary was produced by rapper Jay-Z.
A sheriff’s report said private investigator Dennis Warren received numerous calls and texts from Zimmerman in December. Zimmerman pleaded not guilty after being charged with misdemeanor stalking earlier this year.
Since his acquittal in Martin’s killing, Zimmerman has had several brushes with the law, including two cases of domestic aggravated assault that were later dropped.