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Zimmerman says he has at least $2 million in debt

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Updated: 11/20/2013 12:32 pm
SANFORD, Fla. -- About three hours after George Zimmerman's first court appearance on domestic violence-related charges, the former neighborhood watch volunteer walked out of jail after posting $9,000 bond.

Zimmerman's girlfriend, Samantha Scheibe, said he tried to choke her about a week ago during an altercation that wasn't initially reported to police, a prosecutor told the judge Tuesday.

The prosecutor said Scheibe was in fear for her life because Zimmerman mentioned suicide and said he "had nothing to lose."

Zimmerman's public defenders, however, said after the hearing that their client didn't appear to be suicidal.

Judge Frederic Schott set Zimmerman's bond at $9,000 and ordered Zimmerman to stay away from Scheibe's house, wear a monitoring device and refrain from contact with her.

Zimmerman says in a court affidavit that he has liabilities and debts of at least $2 million.

Zimmerman filed the affidavit for indigency Tuesday so that he could hire public defenders. The application says he has less than $150 in cash on hand and doesn't have an income.

The judge said Zimmerman also can't possess guns or ammunition or travel outside of Florida.

Zimmerman has been charged with aggravated assault, a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison if convicted. He also has been charged with battery and criminal mischief, both misdemeanors.

Schott said Zimmerman's previous brushes with the law weren't a factor in the conditions he was imposing.

In July, Zimmerman was acquitted of all charges in the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in a case that drew worldwide attention.

Defense attorneys said after Tuesday's hearing that they expect Zimmerman to be out of jail on Wednesday, and they're confident he'll eventually be acquitted.

Public defender Jeff Dowdy said Zimmerman's family has been supporting him.

"I would think it would be difficult for George Zimmerman to get a job in central Florida," Dowdy said.

Dowdy and another public defender, Daniel Megaro, said Zimmerman wasn't suicidal, despite what the prosecutor said.

"He doesn't appear to be a danger to himself or a danger to anybody else," Megaro said.

In the latest scuffle on Monday, both Zimmerman and Scheibe called 911 and provided dueling descriptions to police dispatchers about the argument.

Scheibe accused Zimmerman in the emergency call of pointing a long-barreled shotgun at her, smashing a coffee table and then pushing her outside of her own home on Topfield Court in Apopka.

Zimmerman also called dispatchers, flatly denying pointing a gun at Scheibe and blaming her for the broken table.

Scheibe told deputies the ordeal started with a verbal argument and that she asked Zimmerman to leave the house. Her account in the arrest report said Zimmerman began packing his belongings, including a shotgun and an assault rifle.

Scheibe said she began putting Zimmerman's things in the living room and outside the house, and he became upset. At that point, the police report said, Zimmerman took the shotgun out of its case.

Zimmerman then told his girlfriend to leave and smashed a pair of her sunglasses as she walked toward the front door, the report claims.

Scheibe told deputies he pushed her out of the house when she got close to the door.

"I'm doing this again? You just broke my glass table, you just broke my sunglasses, and you put your gun in my friggin' face and told me to get the f--- out. This is not your house," Samantha Scheibe can be heard saying on a 911 call.

Seconds later, Scheibe told the dispatcher, "You kidding me? He pushed me out of my house and locked me out. ... He knows how to do this. He knows how to play this game."

Moments later, Zimmerman called 911 from inside the barricaded house to tell his side of the story.

"I have a girlfriend, who for lack of a better word, has gone crazy on me," Zimmerman said.

Zimmerman then said he never pulled a gun on his girlfriend and that it was she who smashed a table at the home they shared. He also told the dispatcher that Scheibe was pregnant with their child and that she had decided she would raise the child on her own.

When Zimmerman started to leave, "She got mad," he said.

Seminole County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Dennis Lemma said at a news conference that Scheibe wasn't pregnant. He also said Zimmerman was compliant and unarmed when deputies came to the house.

Scheibe is the same woman who was with Zimmerman in September when Zimmerman's estranged wife, Shellie Zimmerman, called 911, claiming her husband attacked her.

That incident happened a short time after it became public that Shellie Zimmerman had filed for divorce.
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