Friend: Trayvon Martin Encounter Racially Charged

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Martin said Zimmerman was behind him and she heard Martin ask: “What are you following me for?”

In one account, according to West, she said Zimmerman responds, “What are you doing around here?” In another account, according to West, she says Zimmerman said, “What are you talking about?”

She then heard what sounded like Martin’s phone earpiece dropping into wet grass, and she heard him say, “Get off! Get off!” The phone then went dead, she said.

Later, she bristled and teared up when West asked her why she didn’t attend Martin’s funeral and about lying about her age. She initially told Martin’s parents she was a minor when she was 18. She said she didn’t want to get involved in the case.

The exchanges also turned testy, including one moment when she urged West to move on to his next question: “You can go. You can go.” And she gave him what seemed like a dirty look as he walked away after he had approached her on the stand to challenge her on differences between an initial interview she gave to Martin family attorney, Benjamin Crump, and a later deposition with the defense. Jeantel explained it by saying she “rushed” the interview with Crump because she didn’t feel comfortable doing it.

And when the judge asked if both sides wanted to break for the day, prosecutors said they’d like to continue, believing the testimony could take another two hours, to which Jeantel reacted with surprise, repeating, “Two hours?” Instead, the judge decided to continue the cross examination Thursday, carefully instructing Jeantel to return at 9 a.m. and not discuss her testimony with anyone.

Jeantel’s testimony was more subdued on Thursday, and West took note of her calmer demeanor. She answered many of West’s questions by repeating “yes, sir,” almost in a whisper.

“You feeling OK today? You seem different than yesterday,” West said.

“I got some sleep,” she answered.

Zimmerman, 29, could get life in prison if convicted of second-degree murder. Zimmerman followed Martin in his truck and called a police dispatch number before he and the teen got into a fight.

Zimmerman has said he opened fire only after the teenager jumped him and began slamming his head against the concrete sidewalk. Zimmerman identifies himself as Hispanic and has denied the confrontation had anything to do with race, as Martin’s family and their supporters have claimed.

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