MARCH 27--With Twitter and Facebook continuing to explode with posts purporting to contain the address of George Zimmerman, property records and interviews reveal that the home is actually the longtime residence of a married Florida couple, both in their 70s, who have no connection to the man who killed Trayvon Martin and are now living in fear due to erroneous reports about their connection to the shooter.
The mass dissemination of the address on Edgewater Circle in Sanford--the Florida city where Martin was shot to death last month--took flight last Friday when director Spike Lee retweeted a tweet containing Zimmerman’s purported address to his 240,000 followers.
The original tweet was sent to Lee (and numerous other celebrities like Will Smith, 50 Cent, and LeBron James) last Friday afternoon by Marcus Davonne Higgins, a 33-year-old Los Angeles man who uses the online handle “maccapone.” Higgins included the direction, “EVERYBODY REPOST THIS.”
Higgins, pictured at right, first began disseminating the Sanford address to his Twitter followers last Wednesday, including the claim that Zimmerman “Like the fat punk he is, he still lives at home with mommie & daddy.” In a simultaneous post to his Facebook wall, Higgins told his 4000 friends, “FEEL FREE TO REACH OUT & TOUCH HIM.” He also claimed in another post that, “REAL TALK MY PEOPLE OUT THERE IN FLORIDA JUST TOLD ME GEORGE ZIMMERMAN IS NOT AT HIS HOUSE THEY OUT THERE RIGHT NOW.”
Higgins’s dissemination of Zimmerman’s purported Edgewater Circle address was not, however, limited to cyberspace. At a protest rally last Thursday in an L.A. park near his Crenshaw home, Higgins held a sign containing Zimmerman’s name, address, and phone number.
Except, of course, none were accurate.
The man who shot Martin is George Michael Zimmerman. Higgins has repeatedly identified him as “George W. Zimmerman.”
The residence on Edgewater Circle is actually the home of David McClain, 72, and his wife Elaine, 70. The McClains, both of whom work for the Seminole County school system, have lived in the 1310-square-foot lakefront home for about a decade, records show.
In an interview tonight, Elaine McClain told TSG that she and her husband were “afraid” due to the online linking of her address to Zimmerman. “We're keeping everything locked,” she said. McClain added that the couple was particularly unnerved by a letter mailed to them at their home. On the envelope, she said, were printed the words “Taste The Rainbow,” the slogan for Skittles. Martin was carrying a pack of Skittles and a can of ice tea when he was gunned down by Zimmerman.
McClain said her husband returned the envelope unopened to the post office.
The McClains (pictured below) only became aware that their address was being widely circulated online two days ago, when a TV reporter arrived at their home asking for “George.” Bewildered by their sudden--and erroneous--connection to Martin’s killer, the elderly couple’s distress can only be heightened by posts made by Twitter and Facebook users who threaten to visit their residence in search of Zimmerman. Or other posts that goad followers to vigilante action.
Higgins has not responded to numerous TSG messages, so it is unknown where he came up with the information tying Zimmerman to the McClains's home. A check of Zimmerman’s residential history shows no connection to the Edgewater Circle property, which is about four miles from his actual home in Sanford.
So how did Higgins screw things up?
Besides overlooking the different middle initial, perhaps that answer is connected to an old voter record for a “William George Zimmerman” at the Edgewater Circle property. That registration, which dates back to 1995, is for a 41-year-old man. The Zimmerman who shot Martin is 28.
Elaine McClain identified William George Zimmerman as her son, noting that he has not lived at the Edgewater Circle residence for seven years. “He is six-foot-five and thin as a rail,” McClain said of her son, who now lives elsewhere in Seminole County. McClain said she was previously married to a man named Zimmerman, but that he was not related in any fashion to the Zimmerman who shot Martin.
When told that Twitter posts containing her address continued to pour in this evening, an exasperated Elaine McClain remarked, “Maybe we should get a lawyer and send a cease and desist letter to Spike Lee.” (6 pages)