Claiming that George Zimmerman – the Florida man acquitted of killing Trayvon Martin - has not responded to a divorce petition filed last September, his estranged wife Shellie Zimmerman late Tuesday requested a Seminole County court judge to grant a default motion against him, according to the ABA Journal.
Zimmerman, the former Neighborhood Watch volunteer who was acquitted last year of murdering Martin, successfully evaded service of process for several months following the September 5th petition filing. He was eventually served on December 18th, when Zimmerman was jailed on allegations of breaking a table and pointing a shotgun at his then girlfriend, Samantha Scheibe.
Kicking Scheibe out of her home, Zimmerman reportedly used furniture to prevent the door of the house from being opened by responding sheriff’s deputies, but did not resist arrest.
The charges against Zimmerman were subsequently dismissed when Scheibe refused to prosecute.
In Florida, the law requires that an individual being sued respond within 20 days of personal service upon them. Not having responded in a timely manner, Shellie Zimmerman’s lawyer entered a clerk’s default on January 13th. She has now requested that the court enter a final judgment of dissolution in the matter.
According to Shellie Zimmerman, she claims $13,000 in assets and $104,000 in debts. There are no children between the couple or real estate owned and neither party are in the military. While each party will retain their personal property, Shellie Zimmerman has asked for ownership of their two dogs.
While ignoring the divorce filing, George Zimmerman – in a financial affidavit filed with the court following his domestic violence arrest - reported approximately $2.5 million in debt. Reportedly that amount is what he owes lawyers Mark O'Mara and Don West for successfully defending him in the murder trial.
In a proceeding related to the Trayvon Martin case, Shellie Zimmerman pled guilty to a misdemeanor perjury charge last August in a deal carrying a sentence of one year probation. In that case, prosecutors discovered recorded telephone calls from the Seminole County jail between Shellie and George Zimmerman where they spoke in code conspiring to hide more than $100,000 that had been donated by online supporters.
Days after the phone call, she testified via teleconference that she and George Zimmerman were broke.
Bill Lewis is principal of William E. Lewis Jr. & Associates, a solutions based professional consulting firm specializing in the discriminating individual, business or governmental entity.