Zimmerman: Dad worked as magistrate

Answering questions on Zimmerman, family

TAMPA - Some viewers on the ABC Action News Facebook page have asked whether George Zimmerman's father served as a judge.

Some have speculated Zimmerman's father may have used that position to get a 2005 charge against his son thrown out (although, while the charge of assaulting a law enforcement officer was dropped, there is no proof Zimmerman's father played any role in making that happen).

On Wednesday, we decided to answer your questions about what was truth and what was fiction.

We obtained a copy of George Zimmerman's application to join the Seminole County Sheriff's Office Citizens Law Enforcement Academy.

In it, Zimmerman writes that his "father is a retired Magistrate Judge for the supreme court (sic) of Virginia."

George Zimmerman's father is Robert Zimmerman. Robert Zimmerman gave a statement to the ‘Orlando Sentinel' defending his son's role in the shooting death of teenager Trayvon Martin.

We then contacted the Virginia Supreme Court to confirm Robert Zimmerman's employment.

Kristi Wright with the Department of Legislative and Public Relations wrote us this email in response:

"Robert J. Zimmerman served as a full-time magistrate from 2000-2006. Please be advised that in Virginia magistrates are judicial officers, but they are not considered "judges" and do not possess trial jurisdiction. More detailed information on the role of the magistrate in Virginia is available on Virginia's Judicial System Website ."

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