Rachel Jeantel, Trayvon Martin’s friend and last person to speak with him on the phone, is expected to take the stand again Thursday to finish her testimony. That testimony could play a huge role in determining George Zimmerman’s fate.
Zimmerman, a former neighborhood watch captain, is charged with second-degree murder for killing 17-year-old Martin in Sanford, Florida, on February 26, 2012. Zimmerman told police he was pursuing the teenager because there had been a rash of crime in the area. A confrontation ensued, and Zimmerman said he was forced to kill Martin in self-defense.
Phone records show Jeantel was on the phone with Martin moments before he died. She testified that Martin told her someone was following him.
“A man was watching him,” 19-year-old Jeantel said in court Wednesday. “He said the man kept watching him. He kept complaining that a man was just watching him.”
Wednesday’s proceedings ended with defense attorney Don West calling Jeantel’s credibility into question. He asked her why she lied multiple times before the trial, and why her testimony doesn’t match up with the transcript of a deposition she gave earlier.
Over the phone, Jeantel said she could hear Martin telling Zimmerman to “get off,” testimony that could prove Zimmerman was the aggressor.
Jeantel appeared to become frustrated several times during West’s cross-examination of her, including the point at which West suggested the court could break until the morning so she’d have more time to review the deposition transcript.
“No, I’m leaving today,” Jeantel told the defense attorney, as she looked over the papers.
“Are you refusing to come back tomorrow?” West asked.
Judge Debra Nelson then stepped in and told West to keep the questions and answers to Jeantel’s testimony.
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