Here’s the Atrocious Way George Zimmerman Spent the Last Year

A year after he walked free, it’s hard not to look askance at the way Trayvon Martin’s killer has been spending his time.

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George Zimmerman watches during his hearing at the Seminole County Courthouse Oct. 19, 2012, in Sanford, Fla. 

Stephen M. Dowell-Pool/Getty Images

It’s hard to imagine a George Zimmerman-less world. He burst into the American collective consciousness with the welcome and expectation of an acid-filled, busted fire hydrant after his brazen attack in February 2012 on an unsuspecting teenager whose trip to the store for Skittles and iced tea would be his last.

On July 13, 2013, George Zimmerman was acquitted of murder charges in the killing of Trayvon Martin, but that didn't mean he would go away. Since then Zimmerman has saved a family, been stopped for speeding, divorced his wife, allegedly beaten his father-in-law, reportedly threatened his girlfriend, claimed that he is homeless and suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, and sold a painting on eBay for more than $100,000.

Here’s a list of all the things Zimmerman has been up to since being released:  

July 17, 2013

Only four days after the verdict, the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office reports that George Zimmerman helped two children and their parents to safety after the family's SUV overturned on a Florida highway. No one involved in the accident was badly hurt.  

July 28, 2013

Zimmerman is pulled over in Dallas for speeding. He tells the officer that he has a gun in the glove compartment. He also asks the officer if he looks familiar. Zimmerman is given a warning and let go. The stop, which lasts about five minutes, is caught on the officer's patrol-car dash cam. The video is leaked to TMZ.

Aug. 19, 2013

Zimmerman is pulled over by the Florida Highway Patrol in Brevard County for having an improper tag display on his Honda truck. He is also warned that the window tint on his car is too dark. He claims that he has extra-dark tint because he has received death threats since the acquittal. He is issued a warning

Aug. 22, 2013

Zimmerman poses for photos at the Kel-Tec gun manufacturer's headquarters. He is reported to be in the market for a KSG compact 12-gauge shotgun. It is also widely reported that the gun Zimmerman used to kill Trayvon was a Kel-Tec 9 mm pistol. He is given a tour of the facilities and takes a photo with an employee.

Aug. 28, 2013

Shellie Zimmerman, Zimmerman's wife, pleads guilty to a misdemeanor charge of perjury as part of a plea deal that comes with a year of probation, instead of prison time, for lying about the couple's finances during Zimmerman's bond hearing. She faced up to five years in prison before the deal was made. She pleaded guilty in August to a perjury charge for lying during a bail hearing after her husband's arrest. She was sentenced to a year's probation and 100 hours of community service.

Sept. 3, 2013

Zimmerman is pulled over again for speeding in Lake Mary, Fla., and issued a $256 ticket. He is reported to have been going 60 mph in a 45-mph zone.

Sept. 5, 2013

Zimmerman's wife files for divorce.

Sept. 9, 2013

Zimmerman's estranged wife calls Lake Mary police, claiming that Zimmerman has threatened her and her father with a gun. She claims that he punched her father in the nose and broke her iPad, which she claims has footage of Zimmerman's attack. No gun is found at the scene, and she refuses to file charges. She would later tell Katie Couric that she didn't press charges because she thought the incident would jeopardize her probation for her perjury plea.

Nov. 18, 2013

Zimmerman's girlfriend, Samantha Scheibe, calls the police, alleging that after she asked Zimmerman to leave her home, he became irate and pointed a shotgun at her. She claims that he also began breaking her belongings. She can be heard on the 911 recording saying, "You point a freaking gun in my face." Police arrest Zimmerman and charge him with felony assault. She would later recant her story and ask that the stay-away order be lifted by the court.

Nov. 19, 2013

Shellie Zimmerman's attorney serves Zimmerman with divorce papers as he sits in jail. It is also revealed that Zimmerman owes $2.5 million, strictly in lawyer fees. Court records would later show that the onetime neighborhood watchman has only $144. He also has five guns and more than 100 rounds of ammunition. The guns are listed below:

* .38-caliber handgun
* 9 mm handgun
* Glock 19 handgun
* Kel-Tec shotgun
* AR-15 assault rifle

Nov. 19, 2013 (Continued)

Zimmerman is released on $9,000 bond. His arraignment is scheduled for Jan. 7. Because no charges are filed, he is not required to appear in court.

Dec. 21, 2013

Zimmerman sells an oil painting of an American flag with the words "One nation," "God" and "with liberty and justice for all" on eBay for more than $100,000. Critics pan the work, calling it "primitive" and "appalling."

Jan. 23, 2014

Zimmerman attempts to sell another painting, titled Angie, that depicts Florida State Attorney Angela Corey. This time the Associated Press calls out Zimmerman for painting an image that closely resembles a photo taken by AP. Zimmerman is sent a cease-and-desist letter. The painting disappears.

Feb. 5-11, 2014

It is announced that Zimmerman will fight in a "celebrity" boxing match. A reported 15,000 people want to fight the onetime neighborhood watchman, including rappers the Game and DMX. DMX is chosen and threatens to beat the f--k out of Zimmerman. The fight is canceled, then is back on and then canceled again after threats of violence by Floridians if Zimmerman agrees to the bout.

Feb. 16, 2014

Zimmerman appears on a special edition of Aquí y Ahora and claims that he is homeless and suffers from PTSD. He declines to answer questions about the shooting and complains that the negative media portrayal of the shooting has led to his harassment and to death threats.

March 10, 2014

Zimmerman signs photos of himself posing with his dog at an Orlando, Fla., gun show. The original show was to be held at a larger venue, but the venue pulled out at the last minute because of "community pressure." 

July 1, 2014

A judge throws out a lawsuit that Zimmerman filed against NBC. In the lawsuit, Zimmerman claimed that the network edited his 911 call to make him sound racist. He was seeking an undisclosed amount of money. Zimmerman's lawyers threaten to appeal the decision.

Stephen A. Crockett Jr. is associate editor of news at The Root. Follow him on Twitter.

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