Rachel Jeantel, 19, the last person to speak with 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, 5 minutes before he was fatally shot by George Zimmerman 29, took the stand today and her testimony has lead to questions of credibility and whether she helped or hurt the prosecution’s case.
As previously reported by NewsOne, Jeantel initially lied about her age, as well as why she didn’t attend Martin’s funeral. She also changed her story between the time of her interview with Martin family attorney, Benjamin Crump, and her deposition. These facts were all used to optimal advantage by Zimmerman’s defense team, including Don West — who told a ridiculously inappropriate and unprofessional knock knock joke to open the trial — who relentlessly badgered, insulted and led Jeantel until her demeanor began to show how insulted she was by their line of questioning.
See Jeantel’s complete testimony below:
Once again sharing the details of that last phone call, Jeantel claimed that Martin said a “creepy a** cracker” was following him. When it became apparent that Zimmerman was not stopping in his pursuit of the unarmed teen, Jeantel alleges that Martin then said, “The ni**a still following me.”
As race has been such a combustible issue in this trial, legal talking heads have pondered the significance – or lack thereof — of Martin’s use of racial slurs.
What has remained clear, which is what should most concern the jury, is the heart of Jeantel’s story:
George Zimmerman followed Trayvon Martin.
Trayvon Martin was afraid of George Zimmerman.
Trayvon Martin was close to home, so he didn’t feel the need to run.
George Zimmerman approached Trayvon Martin in a threatening manner.
Trayvon Martin was killed within 5 minutes of their phone call.
Jeantel will take the stand again tomorrow morning at 9:00 A.M. ET.