TODAY   |  November 20, 2013

George Zimmerman faces assault charges

The man who was acquitted in the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin is out on bail, facing charges of assault with a weapon after his girlfriend said he allegedly pointed a gun at her and tried to strangle her. NBC’s Kerry Sanders reports.

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>> to the arrest of george zimmerman . he appeared in a florida courtroom tuesday on charges stemming from an alleged fight with his girlfriend. kerry sanders is covering the case for us. kerry, good morning.

>> well, good morning, savannah. george zimmerman allegedly pointed a gun at his girlfriend. he denies it. he now faces multiple charges including aggravated assault with a weapon. meantime here at the court's complex, prosecutors say it went beyond that. they revealed in a bond hearing that he allegedly attempted to strangle his girlfriend. on top of that, there are reports this morning that that girlfriend, samantha scheibe, has been trying to sell an interview about george zimmerman and that those attempts to sell that interview began even before she dialled 911 this week. george zimmerman posted a $9,000 bond and left jail with no comment. he walked this route before. when he left jail prior to his acquittal on the second degree murder charge in the shooting death of trayvon martin.

>> do you have a question about any of these rights, mr. zimmerman ?

>> no, your honor.

>> reporter: in court prosecutors said not only did he threaten his girlfriend with a gun on monday but he allegedly tried to strangle her ten days ago.

>> the victim had indicated there was a prior domestic violence incident that occurred a week and a half agatha involved a choking that she did not report to the police.

>> reporter: prosecutors fear zimmerman is a threat. not only to his girlfriend but also to himself.

>> he also has mentioned suicide in the recent past.

>> reporter: zimmerman 's lawyers say they have seen no impression of that.

>> i didn't get the impression that he was suicidal.

>> reporter: he is not allowed to have guns or ammunition. he has to stay away from his girlfriend and her home and he has to wear an ankle monitor to track his movements. in documents filed with the court, zimmerman says he's broke with only $144 in cash and a debt of $2.5 million. his new lawyers are state paid public defenders.

>> i would not characterize my client as a loose cannon . he is presumed innocent on these matters and we're confident he's going to be acquitted.

>> reporter: for months george zimmerman has been elusive. even his estranged wife didn't know where he was but on tuesday before bonded out she knew he was here at jail so she had him served. she has filed for divorce. savannah, matt.

>> kerry sanders in sanford, florida