The prosecutors in Kirk Zimmerman’s murder trial Tuesday worked to break down Zimmerman’s alibi for the night of his ex-wife’s murder by calling Zimmerman’s girlfriend to the stand.
Zimmerman is accused of killing his ex-wife, Pamela, whose body was found in her office the morning of Nov. 4, 2014. Zimmerman says he was at home napping before seeing then-girlfriend Kate Arthur for a relaxed night at home.
Arthur and Zimmerman started dating in August 2013 and were together at the time Pamela was killed. They have since broken up, but Zimmerman remains as Arthur called it a “good friend.”
The jury saw text messages between Arthur and Zimmerman from the evening of Nov. 2 to Nov. 4, 2014, after Pamela Zimmerman’s body was found.
The texts confirm Arthur and Zimmerman had plans to see each other the night of Pamela Zimmerman’s suspected killing. According to the texts, the two planned to meet at 7 p.m. on Nov. 3, 2019.
Arthur confirmed testimony she made in 2017 that she left her workout class early and headed to Zimmerman’s sometime before 6:30 p.m. When she arrived there was no answer at the door, but Arthur noted seeing the TV was on so she returned to her car where she sent Zimmerman a text at 6:48 p.m. It read, “tried to call and rang your doorbell. If I don’t hear from u in a few mins I’ll assume your not home and call it a nite.”
Not seeing Zimmerman’s car in the driveway, Arthur walked around the back of the house, saw the patio door was locked, and Zimmerman was still nowhere to be found. She went home.
Zimmerman texted back at 7:02 p.m. saying he fell asleep, tired from disassembling a trampoline.
Arthur confirmed she saw the trampoline in a state of disassembly in Zimmerman’s backyard and testified that Zimmerman would always turn the TV off before leaving his home. And she said she neglected to look inside the garage to see if Kirk’s car was at the house that night.
She later returned to Zimmerman’s home that night where she stayed until just after 9 p.m. Arthur told the jury that Zimmerman was acting normal, wearing shorts and a T-shirt with no signs of blood stains.
The two next spoke on Nov. 5, the day after Pamela Zimmerman’s body was found. Arthur said Zimmerman was “distraught” on the phone, crying and upset that he was unable to see his three kids.
Arthur testified that all throughout their relationship, Zimmerman never expressed hostility toward his ex-wife.
Prosecutors point to a financial dispute between the Zimmermans as a motive for Pamela Zimmerman’s murder. The defense attempted to poke holes in that Tuesday.
Kathleen Kraft, an attorney with Bloomington-based Thomson & Weintraub, represented Pamela Zimmerman throughout the Zimmermans' divorce and child support battles.
In a testimony early Tuesday, Kraft said that Pamela Zimmerman called her office phone the morning of Nov. 3, 2014, the day of Zimmerman’s death, sounding “upset.”
“The tone of her voice was different. The pace of her speaking was more clipped, it was faster-paced than normal,” Kraft said. “The words that she used indicated to me that she was upset.”
According to Kraft, Pamela Zimmerman sent Kirk Zimmerman a packet of expenses he owed her for child support and that her request was “ignored.” Zimmerman told her lawyer she was ready to take legal action against Kirk Zimmerman.
Defense attorney John Rogers noted and Kraft confirmed that she could not know for sure that the expenses were incurred by the Zimmerman’s three kids, and that Kraft did not file any legal action in response to Pamela Zimmerman’s complaint that morning nor did she try to contact Kirk Zimmerman’s attorney.
Power Back On The Stand
Sgt. Tim Power with the Bloomington Police Department was called back to the stand Tuesday afternoon to detail how his office used business surveillance videos to determine what he alleged was Kirk Zimmerman’s route from Pamela Zimmerman’s office on the night of Nov. 3, 2014. The route went from Pamela Zimmerman’s office complex to where her phone and wallet were later found.
After reviewing outdoor security footage from various businesses in Bloomington-Normal from the night of Pamela Zimmerman’s alleged murder, Power said a silver Hyundai Sonata stood out on all of the tapes.
Power pointed out distinctive qualities that matched Kirk Zimmerman’s 2013 silver Hyundai Sonata: a sunroof, fog lights, mirror turn signal indicators, and 5-spoke rims.
Through cross examination, Rogers revealed there are over 680 Hyundai Sonatas in Bloomington-Normal. But Powers said that number was not filtered through the distinctions noted on Kirk’s car at the time of the murder.
The trial is expected to last until May 10. Later this week jurors will hear from FBI Agent Greg Catey, who is expected to testify on what police collected from Kirk Zimmerman’s car after the murder.
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