BLOOMINGTON — Kirk Zimmerman entered Courtroom 5A at the McLean County Courthouse on Monday afternoon with a big smile. Wearing a gray suit and tie, he appeared confident as he walked with his lawyer, John Rogers.
About 20 minutes later, Zimmerman exited the courtroom with an even bigger smile — he was a free man after being acquitted in the 2014 shooting death of his ex-wife, Pam.
“Obviously, we are elated and are grateful for all of the hard work that the ladies and gentlemen on this jury did in this case, in deliberating over the last three days,” said Rogers, talking to the media in the lobby of the Law and Justice Center in downtown Bloomington.
"On behalf of Kirk and his entire family, we would like to say thank you to them. It’s been four long years of being accused of a crime that Kirk didn’t commit, so today is a relief not only for Kirk but for his family.”
Rogers also thanked Judge Scott Drazewski for presiding over the month-long trial.
“He is one of the most intelligent, patient, even-handed judges I have ever appeared in front of,” he said. “There has been a lot of argument over a lot of years and it was presided over with great dignity and insight by all of the parties involved.”
Zimmerman left to enjoy a meal with his family, but a family spokesman handed out a written statement to the media.
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“Many prospective jurors expressed their opinion I was guilty, before the trial even started, based on what they had read in The Pantagraph,” said the statement. “The judge’s request (the jurors) ignore that coverage and base their judgement upon the evidence alone demonstrates his wish for a capability nobody has.”
He continued, “Jurors were asked to convict despite a lack of real physical evidence; despite problematic evidence collection techniques; despite flawed analyses of my finances (laughably so) and telematics (the device manufacturer stated what the expert claimed to do was impossible); and despite multiple attempts by investigators to sway the jury with evidence recreation videos. The jury was told by the prosecutor that lack of evidence is proof of guilt.
"He claimed deleting texts and internet history is evidence although everyone the police looked at did this. He said I deleted my internet history at work, shortly before my police interview, but never told the jury what was in that history — I was researching my cancer which I had learned about that same morning.”
Zimmerman also discredited an eyewitness who identified him in Pam Zimmerman’s parking lot and prosecutors who alleged that he went to Indiana to purchase a gun because of lax gun laws in that state.
“As the trial revealed, I was treated as the only real suspect from the start, at the virtual exclusion of others in Pam’s life,” he said. “This community deserves, and should demand, more from its public servants.”
Bloomington Police Spokesman John Furman said it was too early to know whether the case would be re-opened.
“If anybody has any leads or any information, they should certainly call us,” he said.