Prosecution witness bristles on stand in Zimmerman's trial
SANFORD, Fla. — A 19-year-old who was on the phone with Trayvon Martin moments before the black teenager was shot by a neighborhood watchman rejected attempts by the defense lawyer to depict her longtime friend as the aggressor in the struggle that ended in his death.
Rachel Jeantel took the stand in a Florida courtroom for a second day on Thursday as George Zimmerman's attorneys tried to demonstrate that her story changed over the course of the last year.
The testimony began on Thursday with a more subdued tone that it did a day earlier, when Jeantel frequently bristled at Don West's cross-examination and she at one point told him to move on to the next question: “You can go. You can go.”
Her demeanor on the stand provoked strong reaction. Some television commentators have called her a “rude” and “unreliable” witness. Other court watchers considered her a teenage girl out of her element, doing her best in an unfamilar environment.
West said that she embellished her account of the conversation with Martin because news coverage portrayed the shooting as “a racial thing.” Jeantel repeatedly denied altering her story and said she never watched the news.
Jeantel said that shortly before Martin was fatally shot, he complained about a “creepy” man who seemed to be hunting him down as he walked back to the house where he was staying with his father.
Jeantel suggested Martin would have ended the phone call first if he was preparing to attack someone.
West asked whether the noises Jeantel heard on the phone call could have been Martin smashing Zimmerman in the face.
She refused to agree with West that Martin hid and approached Zimmerman. “Trayvon told me the man was behind him and kept being close by him,” Jeantel said.
A former resident of the gated community where Martin was killed testified that she saw Zimmerman on top of Martin during their struggle.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Obama: No credible intelligence about terror plot against US
- New Hampshire cancer patient gets permission to travel to Maine for medical pot
- Foreign policy expert: Obama administration should create Syria safe areas
- Video of white Chicago patrolman fatally firing on fleeing black youth sparks demonstrations
- Peanut glut poses hefty bailout tab for taxpayers
- Email address gives FBI lead on record theft of user IDs, passwords
- Self-driving vehicles closer to getting green light as feds ease stance
- House Republicans call for refugee limits in spending bill
- Barrier nears completion in Indiana marsh to keep Asian carp from Great Lakes
- Poll: 4 in 10 know someone who has been addicted to prescription painkillers
- GOP readies next assault on health care law