© 2023 WGLT
NPR from Illinois State University
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Kirk Zimmerman Murder Trial Goes To The Jury

Kirk watches
David Proeber
The Pantagraph (pool)
Kirk Zimmerman of Bloomington in the courtroom during his murder trial.

The fate of accused killer Kirk Zimmerman is now in the hands of the jury after attorneys finished closing arguments at about 4 p.m. Thursday.

Prosecutors painted the picture of a greed-filled man whose only way out of a financial burden was to kill his ex-wife, Pamela. Kirk Zimmerman did not look up from his courtroom seat during the two-hour morning session.

The Zimmermans divorced in 2012, and a lengthy child support battle ensued in 2013. The prosecution points to overdue child support payments and impending legal action as Kirk Zimmerman’s primary motives to killing his ex-wife Nov. 3, 2014.

Pam and Kirk
Kirk Zimmerman is accused of killing his ex-wife, Pamela, in 2014.

Shortly before her death prosecutors say Pamela Zimmerman sent the defendant a FedEx package detailing child support payments he owed her. In a letter, she told Kirk Zimmerman if she did not receive the $4,000 payment within five days, she would be seeking legal action, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors tried to show Kirk Zimmerman was already under financial stress. After all necessary deductions for loan payments, child support, and more, Kirk was in the negative for monthly income, outspending his paycheck by over $2,300 every month, they said.

Kirk Zimmerman handled the stress by relieving his child support obligation, the prosecution claimed. They say Kirk traveled to Indiana, according to satellite evidence tracked from Kirk’s car, where he bought a gun.

Kirk said he was home napping at the time of Pamela’s murder. Prosecution tried to poke holes in his alibi by providing evidence that tracked Kirk’s car near the murder scene at the time of the killing.

Pamela was shot four times, once through the hand and into the chest, another through her forearm and out her arm, a third through her head, and the fourth into her back after she was already slumped onto the floor of her office.

“That defendant,” prosecutor Brad Rigdon pointed to Kirk Zimmerman, accusing him of killing his ex-wife in cold blood, “he made sure his hate got carried out in that fourth shot. That was for him.”

Defense's Closing Arguments

The defense called the prosecution’s presentation of evidence into question during its closing arguments Thursday afternoon.

John Rogers
Credit David Proeber / The Pantagraph (pool)
The Pantagraph (pool)
John Rogers is Kirk Zimmerman's defense attorney.

Kirk Zimmerman’s attorney, John Rogers, accused the state of speculation, telling the jury the prosecution failed to present evidence proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Rogers said if any member of the jury felt that the state did not present sufficient evidence, “that’s a reasonable doubt” and Kirk Zimmerman should be acquitted.

Calling the prosecutors “team speculation,” Rogers questioned Rigdon’s use of soundbites to tell the narrative of Zimmerman's guilt. Rogers said a guilty conviction cannot be based on soundbites provided without context.

The defense spent a majority of its time questioning the validity of witnesses by the prosecution, as well as accusing the Bloomington Police Department of “bad police work” in its investigation of the murder.

Rogers said the state presented no physical evidence to support its case against Zimmerman.

“The reason there is no evidence connecting Mr. Zimmerman to Doctor’s Park is that he wasn’t there," Rogers said, referring to where Pamela was killed.

He said there was not a sufficient investigation into Pamela's then-fiance, Scott Baldwin, or her last client the day she died, Eldon Whitlow.

Jurors are expected to continue deliberations Friday.

People like you value experienced, knowledgeable and award-winning journalism that covers meaningful stories in Bloomington-Normal. To support more stories and interviews like this one, please consider making a contribution.

Related Content