George Zimmerman pleads no contest to threatening to feed private investigator to alligator

George Zimmerman entered a no contest plea to resolve a misdemeanor charge of stalking a private investigator in the latest run-in with the law for the neighborhood watch leader who killed Trayvon Martin.

Zimmerman will be placed on 12-month probation, during which time he is not allowed to possess a firearm.

The Associated Press reported that Zimmerman entered the no contest plea in absentia, meaning he did not have to be present at the courthouse. Under such a plea, a defendant doesn't admit guilt, and a conviction is withheld if the conditions of the plea are met.

Zimmerman was accused of sending threatening messages to a private investigator who had contacted him about a documentary series on Martin.

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According to court records, the private investigator contacted Zimmerman about the film on Sept. 21, 2017 and mentioned the producer, Mike Gasparro, and left a voicemail with Gasparro's contact information.

Deputies said Gasparro told the private investigator that Zimmerman was extremely agitated with him and threatened physical harm because the investigator had been contacting Zimmerman's family.

Zimmerman allegedly told Gasparro, “Help (the investigator’s wife) out and give him a heads-up. I’m going to find him. And I’m bringing hell with me.”

He allegedly texted Gasparro and said, “(The private investigator) is a (expletive) who bothered my uncle in his home. Local or former law officer, he’s well on his way to the inside of a gator as well. Ten-four?”

On Dec. 16, the private investigator said he, too, began receiving threats from Zimmerman. In total, he received 21 calls, 38 texts and seven voicemails in a two-hour time span.

Related: George Zimmerman reportedly threatens JAY-Z over Trayvon Martin documentary

The investigator called deputies to report the alleged threats.

The responding deputy told the private investigator to make a call to Zimmerman and ask him to cease communication. According to documents, Zimmerman told him, “No,” and to go ahead and “pursue charges.”

He also said, “Text me again. I’ll show up at your house,” the documents said.

Zimmerman also sent the victim a website link to a December 2017 news story on celebrity gossip site The Blast, in which Zimmerman was quoted, saying, "I know how to handle people who (expletive) with me. I have since February 2012," and, "Anyone who (expletive) with my parents will be fed to an alligator."

According to The Blast, Zimmerman himself said that he was being harassed by production crews working on the documentary about Martin.

Credit: Red Huber

Credit: Red Huber

In March 2017, Variety reported that JAY-Z was a partner with the Weinstein Company on the project. The documentary series, titled, "Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin Story," aired from July to September, examined Martin's life, the shooting by Zimmerman and the 2013 acquittal.

According to the court documents, Zimmerman continued to send text messages, emails and phone calls.

Court records show the private investigator received 55 phone calls, 67 text messages, 36 voicemails and 27 emails throughout December. The voicemails, deputies said, contained what appeared to be ticking sounds and tones that would slowly increase in frequency.

On Jan. 3, a deputy who was familiar with Zimmerman from a domestic dispute between Zimmerman and his ex-wife, called Zimmerman.

Court documents said he berated the deputy.

Zimmerman fatally shot the black teenager in 2012 in the central Sanford, Florida. Zimmerman, who identifies as Hispanic, was acquitted of all charges.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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