09-26-2017  7:53 am      •     
The Wake of Vanport
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NEWS BRIEFS

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AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

ENTERTAINMENT

Graham Winch Hlntv.com

(CNN) -- In a sometimes contentious cross-examination filled with testy exchanges, defense attorney Don West peppered the prosecution's star witness, Rachel Jeantel, with questions Thursday about the consistency of her statements related to the night that Trayvon Martin died.

Phone records show that Jeantel was talking to Martin moments before he was shot to death.

George Zimmerman, a former neighborhood watch captain, is charged with second-degree murder for killing 17-year-old Martin in Sanford, Florida, on February 26, 2012. Zimmerman told police he was pursuing the teenager because there had been a rash of crime in the area. A confrontation ensued, and Zimmerman said he was forced to kill Martin in self-defense.

On her second day on the stand, Jeantel looked frustrated as she repeatedly answered with terse replies when asked about her claims that Martin told her someone was following him that night and that a fight followed.

"Trayvon got hit," said Jeantel.

West shot back: "You don't know that, do you?"

"No sir," said Jeantel.

West asked, "You don't know if Trayvon got hit, do you?"

"No sir," said Jeantel.

West asked, "You don't know that Trayvon didn't at that moment take his fist and drive it into George Zimmerman's face, do you?"

"No sir," said Jeantel.

West also challenged Jeantel several times over whether Zimmerman approached Martin the night of the shooting, but she stood her ground.

West asked, "You don't know whether the man was approaching Trayvon at that point and getting closer, or whether Trayvon was approaching the man and getting closer?"

"Trayvon would have told me he would call me back, sir," she said, "if he was going to approach him, sir."

A few minutes later, West rephrased his question about who approached whom that fateful night, but Jeantel's answer didn't change.

"If he was going to confront the man, he would have told me, 'I am about to confront the man and see what he wants.' He did not tell me that, sir. He just told me he tried to get home, sir. But the man was still following him, sir," said Jeantel.

 

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