The Free Press, Mankato, MN

State, national news

June 28, 2013

Zimmerman trial over teen's death enters 5th day

(Continued)

West also zeroed in on slight differences among three different accounts of what happened before Martin's killing, in an apparent effort to discredit her. Jeantel has described what she heard over the phone in a deposition; a letter to Martin's mother; and an interview with the Martin family attorney. Among the differences highlighted by West:

— In some accounts, she said race was an issue but not in others.

— Jeantel testified Wednesday that her friend's last words were "Get off! Get off!" before Martin's phone went silent. But on Thursday, under cross-examination, she conceded that she hadn't mentioned that in her account of what happened to Martin's mother, Sybrina Fulton. She had left out some details to spare Fulton's feelings, and also because neither Fulton nor the Martin family attorney asked her directly about them, Jeantel said.

— After Martin asks why he is being followed, Zimmerman responds, "What are you doing around here?" in one account by Jeantel. In another account, according to West, she says Zimmerman said, "What are you talking about?"

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 denied the confrontation had anything to do with race, as Martin's family and their supporters have claimed.

Jeantel testified Thursday that she thought race was an issue because Martin told her he was being followed by a white man.

But West responded, "It was racial because Trayvon put race in this?"

She answered no.

The exchanges got testier as the day progressed.

When asked by West if she had previously told investigators that she heard what sounded like somebody being hit at the end of her call with Martin, Jeantel said, "Trayvon got hit."

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