ST. CHARLES TOWNSHIP – A Plato Township man charged with felony domestic battery was released from jail Sept. 26 after a judge ruled prosecutors did not do enough investigation to support a legal justification to continue holding him without bond.
Associate Judge Alice Tracy ordered that Eric D. Zimmerman, 36, of the 9N100 block of Muirhead Road, Plato Township, be released from jail to be on electronic home monitoring and warned him not to contact the victim.
Tracy asked Zimmerman if he understood. Zimmerman responded that he did.
“I don’t think that you do,” Tracy said.
“I definitely understand, your honor,” Zimmerman said.
Zimmerman had been charged with misdemeanor violation of his bond – a separate charge – related to the felony domestic battery case.
Assistant State’s Attorney Hannah Stout filed a petition Sept. 22 asking the judge to deny pretrial release for Zimmerman.
According to her filing, Zimmerman was charged with “a forcible felony … which involves the threat of or infliction of great bodily harm or permanent disability or disfigurement and the defendant’s pretrial release poses a real and present threat to the safety of any person or persons in the community.”
Zimmerman was charged Aug. 22 with two counts of felony aggravated domestic battery unlawful restraint and obstructing justice by destroying evidence.
According to the charging documents, Zimmerman “repeatedly stomped on her face with his foot causing [the victim] to have fractured facial bones.”
The misdemeanor charge from Sept. 17 alleges that Zimmerman violated the terms of his bond by using an employee to locate the victim’s whereabouts.
Though this charge occurred before the Safety, Accountability, Fairness and Equity-Today Act – commonly known as the SAFE-T Act – went into effect Sept. 18, Zimmerman’s attorney Brendan Caver opted for the new statute to apply to his client.
According to the new law, prosecutors were supposed to notify the victim if they sought to deny the defendant pretrial release.
Stout asked the judge for a continuance of up to 48 hours in order to contact the victim.
Caver objected to Zimmerman being held without bond for a nondetainable offense. He said based on the prosecution’s failure to notify the victim, Zimmerman should be released.
Stout cited four previous domestic violence cases involving the same victim that all were dismissed – one after Zimmerman completed a counseling program – as well as a previous violation of bond for the same crime.
Stout also cited the same charge of domestic battery pending against Zimmerman in Las Vegas, involving the same victim, but Caver said that case was dismissed.
Stout asked the judge to deny Zimmerman’s release based on his extensive criminal history of abuse toward the victim and his disregard for previous judges’ orders to stay away from the victim.
Tracy said she had questions about the report from the prosecution. She said not enough investigation was done.
Tracy said the report did not contain enough details to provide clear and convincing evidence that Zimmerman should be held without bond.
One question was the claim that Zimmerman tracked the victim’s cellular calls. Tracy said the report did not provide evidence of how that was done.
Stout again asked for a continuance so she could notify the victim. Caver objected and Tracy ruled, granting Zimmerman pre-trial release with the electronic home monitoring anklet.
Tracy reminded Zimmerman that he was to have no contact with the victim and that he is only allowed to leave his home for work and court.
Zimmerman’s next court appearance was set for Oct. 3 for the misdemeanor charge and Oct. 12 for the felony charges, court records show.