The woman who was on the phone with Trayvon Martin when he was confronted and shot by George Zimmerman inside a gated community took the witness stand today.
Rachel Jeantel, 19, told jurors she was not Trayvon’s girlfriend. She recounted the phone conversation she had with Trayvon before he was shot to death by the self-appointed neighborhood watchman inside the Retreat at Twin Lakes subdivision in February.
Speaking almost in a whisper, Jeantel said Trayvon used the N-word several times as she described what she heard Martin say to a male. She said Trayvon told her the man was following him as he returned to his father’s fiancee’s home from a convenience store. He described the man as “creepy” and a “cracker.”
Jeantel said she told Trayvon to run as Zimmerman pursued him in the darkness. Jeantel said she heard a male voice ask Trayvon, “What are you doing here?” She then said she heard the sounds of a struggle and Trayvon saying “Get off. Get off.” She said the call was disconnected at that point. Jeantel did not mention the words “Get off” in deposition transcripts.
The judge then called a 15-minute recess. Jeantel is now on the witness stand being cross examined by the defense.
Prior to pursuing Martin, Zimmerman called 911 to report the hoodie wearing Martin as a suspicious person inside the gated community. When the dispatcher asked Zimmerman if he was following Trayvon, Zimmerman replied, “Yep.” He was then told not to pursue the teen. Zimmerman’s defense attorney claims Trayvon attacked Zimmerman as he returned to his truck.
Jurors also heard from Jeannee Manalo, a resident at the Retreat at Twin Lakes, the gated community where Martin was killed. Manalo said she heard the sounds of a struggle and a voice “howling” for help. She said she looked outside and saw two people on the ground, one on top of the other. She said after seeing television reports about the case, she believes the person on top was Zimmerman.
On Monday, the judge ruled that audio testimony from experts for the prosecution would not be allowed into the evidence.
Earlier Wednesday, jurors heard from Ramona Rumph, of the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office who told the jury Zimmerman made multiple calls to police in the months prior to the shooting, reporting young black males as “suspicious.”
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