Rachel Jeantel, 18, testified for the prosecution Wednesday afternoon during George Zimmerman’s televised second-degree murder trial for the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.
Under cross-examination, Zimmerman’s lawyer did his best to bring up inconsistencies in Jeantel’s stories in an apparent attempt to hurt her credibility.
Jeantel, on the phone with Martin moments before he died, told the jury that he asked Zimmerman, “Why are you following me?” Initially, Jeantel said Zimmerman responded with, “What are you doing around here?”
Upon cross examination though, Zimmerman’s attorney cited a recorded conversation between Jeantel and the Martin family attorney, Benjamin Crump. Jeantel told Crump that day Zimmerman ‘s response was, “What are you talking about?”
The defence also claimed Jeantel lied in two situations surrounding the case. First, she didn’t attend Martin’s memorial service and told Martin’s mother and Crump that she had to go to the hospital. Earlier in the trial, she told the prosecution that she didn’t go because she didn’t want to see the body and lied because she “felt guilty.”
Upon cross-examination, the defence suggested Jeantel might have missed the memorial service to avoid Martin’s mother, whom Jeantel admitted not wanting to meet under the circumstances. Jeantel got emotional. “You got to understand. When you’re the last person to talk to the person — and he died on the phone — you think I want to see the body?”
Initially, Jeantel also told Crump she was 16. Upon cross-examination, the defence asked her if she lied about her age to maintain more privacy as a minor. She said yes.
These occurrences might affect Jeantel’s credibility as a witness. Considering she previously admitted Martin told Zimmerman to “get off, get off,” that’s a big deal.
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