It was another explosive day of testimony in the George Zimmerman trial. On June 27, 2013, Rachel Jeantel returned to the stand where she discussed Trayvon Martin’s final moments. Zimmerman is being tried before a jury for second-degree murder stemming from the Feb. 26, 2012, shooting death of unarmed, Martin. He faces life in prison if found guilty.
Jeantel had a heated exchange with defense attorney Don West yesterday when he called her out for past lies she had made. Public opinion of Jeantel has run the gamut from some thinking she was rude and a terrible witness for the prosecution and others saying she was real, uncoached, unrehearsed and raw. How Jeantel’s testimony will translate with the jury is anyone’s guess. She did; however, address Trayvon Martin’s final moments with her as she spoke with him before losing a connection with him at approximately 7:16 pm, the evening he was killed.
Speaking to defense attorney West, Jeantel described overhearing Trayvon Martin speaking to George Zimmerman. “He said, ‘Why are you following me for?’ And then I heard a hard-breathed man come and say, ‘What you doing around here?’” Jeantel told the jury. She continued to describe hearing a bump and Martin telling the man to get off of him.
Jeantel continued, “Then I started saying, ‘Trayvon, Trayvon, what`s going on?’ Then I heard a bump. Then I started hearing grass sounds. I kind of heard Trayvon saying, ‘Get off, get off.’” Jeantel stated that after hearing that conversation, she lost connection with him and never spoke to him again.
The testimony is critical as it points to George Zimmerman as being the aggressor who approached Trayvon Martin then began a physical altercation with him. Don West challenged her claims and pointed out there was no way for Jeantel to know exactly what transpired between Martin and Zimmerman.
Don West cross-examined Jeantel. “So the last thing you heard was some kind of noise like something hitting somebody?” West asked.
Jeantel replied, “Like Trayvon got hit. Trayvon got hit.”
West continued, “You don`t know that, do you?”
“No, sir,” Jeantel answered.
West repeated his question, something he has done throughout the trial. “You don`t know that Trayvon got hit”
Jeantel replied, “I could — he had to…”
West continued, “ You don`t know that Trayvon didn`t at that moment take his fist and drive it into George Zimmerman`s face. Do you?”
Jeantel answered resolutely, “No, sir. “
What do you think of Rachel Jeantel’s testimony? Do you think she has been a greater help to the prosecution or the defense?
You may watch Rachel Jeantel’s full testimony from June 26, 2013, and June 27, 2013, here.
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