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Zimmerman Trial: Defense Floats Alternate Suspects In Ex-Wife's Murder

Steve testifies
David Proeber
The Pantagraph (Pool)
Bloomington Detective Steve Moreland with prosecutor Mary Koll during Day 3 of the Kirk Zimmerman murder trial on Wednesday, April 10, 2019.

Kirk Zimmerman’s attorney suggested again Wednesday that police zeroed in on him almost immediately and never fully investigated other leads and suspects in the murder of his ex-wife.

Several Bloomington Police detectives testified Wednesday on the third full day of the Zimmerman murder trial. Kirk Zimmerman, 60, is accused of fatally shooting his ex-wife, Pamela, 53, at her Bloomington business in 2014, largely over a financial dispute. Most of Wednesday’s testimony established how and when certain evidence was found, such as Pamela’s iPhone and wallet.

But Zimmerman’s attorney, John Rogers, used every opportunity to hint at alternate theories of who killed Pamela. That includes Pamela’s then-fiancé, who told police he was also involved with another woman at the time of the murder, former Bloomington Detective Matthew Dick testified Wednesday. Both women knew about the other, he said.

Pam and Kirk
Kirk Zimmerman of Bloomington is charged with shooting his ex-wife, Pam, four times in her office on East Washington Street in November 2014.

“(The other woman) is someone that could be viewed as a suspect. There was a potential motive that she might have had. And I was asked (in 2016, several months after Kirk Zimmerman was arrested) to talk to her and establish an alibi if she had one,” Dick said.

That other woman provided credit card statements and detailed information about her whereabouts on Nov. 3, 2014, to show she was not in the area when Pamela was killed, he said. Rogers challenged Dick on whether that qualified as an alibi, since the credit card statements were not timestamped.

“I believe that I corroborated her statements as well as was reasonable,” Dick said.

Rogers also tried to raise suspicions about another suspect—a man who Pamela communicated with through an online dating site. Rogers suggested their communication turned contentious; Dick said the man provided an alibi showing he was at work—selling cars—the day of the murder. Those exchanges took place around nine months before the killing, he said.

During cross-examination of lead investigator Tim Power from BPD, Rogers also tried to show jurors that police were focused on Zimmerman to the detriment of other leads. In response to Rogers’ questions, Power said police sought extensive financial records from Kirk Zimmerman but not from two other men in Pamela’s life—her fiancé, and the last client she saw the day of her death. (Pamela was a financial planner and accountant.) Rogers has described that client as a "gun fanatic."

Kirk Zimmerman’s arrest in 2015 came after an eight-month investigation involving a team of Bloomington detectives who spent thousands of hours on the case.

Authorities pointed to their 2012 divorce and subsequent financial disputes over child support as a possible motive. Pamela had also gotten engaged a few days before she was killed.

Zimmerman has been free on bond but under home confinement ahead of the trial.

The trial continues Thursday. It’s expected to last four to six weeks.

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Ryan Denham is the digital content director for WGLT.
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