Keep New Times Free

Rachel Jeantel, Zimmerman Prosecution Star Witness, Has Become Courtroom Star

Rachel Jeantel, a witness for the prosecution in the George Zimmerman trial, is off to a rip-roarin' start in her testimony.

Jeantel, 19, has been ID'd as the last person Trayvon Martin spoke with before he was shot and killed by Zimmerman.

And so far, she's becoming a courtroom star, so to speak.

First, she tweeted about the case (the tweets have since been deleted).

Then she posted a photo of her nails on her Facebook account under the caption "Court nails."

But the biggest story from her appearance as a witness came when she admitted under oath that she did not write the handwritten note that she claimed she wrote to Trayvon's mother.

The note, written in cursive, describes what Jeantel allegedly heard on a phone call with Trayvon moments before he was shot.

The clue that cracked the truth of her not writing the note: She apparently can't read cursive.

After admitting that she couldn't read any of the letter, Jeantel claimed she had dictated the letter to someone who wrote it for her. That's when defense attorney Don West pounced.

"Are you able to read that at all?" West asked.

Jeantel, head bowed, eyes averted, whispered into the court microphone, "Some but not all. I don't read cursive."

Jeantel also started things off by being openly hostile toward the defense and scoffing at their questions.

When she seemed more subdued today, the defense asked her if someone had approached her about her demeanor.

Her answer was that she was able to get more sleep.

In another moment of cross-examination, Jeantel was asked by the defense if there was any chance Trayvon lied to her about his location before the shooting when they were on the phone.

I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of South Florida and help keep the future of New Times free.

Jeantel answered:

"That's real retarded, sir. That's real retarded to do that, sir. Why on earth...? Trayvon did not know [Zimmerman]."

After all this, even if Jeantel ends up not being a star witness for the prosecution, she's at the very least a star in our court-drama-watching hearts.

Keep New Times Broward-Palm Beach Free... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering South Florida with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in South Florida.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in South Florida.