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Juror Replaced, Deliberations Start Over In Zimmerman Murder Trial

Judge looks at papers
David Proeber
The Pantagraph (Pool)
Judge Scott Drazewski replaced one of the jurors Friday afternoon, causing deliberations to re-start.

Deliberations in the Kirk Zimmerman murder trial started from scratch Friday afternoon after a juror was replaced for looking at media coverage of the case.

Around 1:30 p.m. Friday, Judge Scott Drazewski told the first alternate juror that she was being moved into one of the 12 primary juror spots. That means deliberations, which have been underway since Thursday afternoon, must start anew, he said.

"What I need to tell you though is that when it does occur, and it doesn't happen very often, to be honest, is that certain things need to occur for fairness to all parties in this case. One of those things unfortunately is that you must start anew, from the beginning," Drazewski told the jurors.

Drazewski denied a subsequent defense request for a mistrial.

Zimmerman, 60, of Bloomington, is accused of killing his ex-wife, Pamela, in November 2014. Prosecutors say he shot her four times inside her financial planning office on East Washington Street. They say Zimmerman was strapped for cash and upset that his ex-wife was seeking additional child support money. She had also just gotten engaged.

Zimmerman’s defense has criticized authorities for not more fully investigating alternate suspects, including Pamela’s then-fiancé and the last client she saw the day she died. The defense argued police had tunnel vision and focused only on Kirk Zimmerman.

Closing arguments happened Thursday following a four-week trial. Jurors deliberated for over three hours Friday afternoon before breaking for the weekend. They'll resume at 9 a.m. Monday.

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Ryan Denham is the digital content director for WGLT.
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