Witnesses Give Conflicting Accounts of Fatal Encounter

Witness Jonathan Good is shown a photo of the body of Trayvon Martin. (Joe Burbank/pool/Getty Images)
Witness Jonathan Good is shown a photo of the body of Trayvon Martin. (Joe Burbank/pool/Getty Images)

Friday, June 28, 2 p.m. EDT: Jonathan Good was dismissed from the witness stand after testifying earlier in the day about seeing Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin engaged in a mixed martial arts-style fight on the night of the fatal shooting, HLN reports.

Prosecutors then called Jonathan Manalo, whose wife, Jeannee, testified earlier in the trial to take the stand. The couple lived in Zimmerman's neighborhood the night Trayvon was shot. He said that although he did not see the shooting, he was the first one to come into contact with Zimmerman; police arrived later. He testified that Zimmerman wasn't hyperactive or subdued, extremes that he would associate with someone being in shock.

Manolo was later dismissed, and the prosecution then called Sanford Police Officer Ricardo Ayala to testify. He described being the first officer to approach Martin, who was facedown with his hand beneath him.


Friday, June 28, 9:45 a.m. EDT: George McKinney, a video-security expert, was the first witness Friday, according to the Associated Press. McKinney's company monitored the security cameras at the townhome complex where George Zimmerman fatally shot Trayvon Martin last year. McKinney was dismissed after brief questioning that established the existence of the cameras.

The next witness was Jonathan Good, a resident of the neighborhood where the shooting occurred, who described seeing a tussle outside his home from his patio. He recounted that the altercation was "vertical," which could mean that Zimmerman and Trayvon were standing at the point he witnessed the incident. As it progressed, the tussle became "horizontal," and it appeared that a person with lighter skin was on the bottom. 

Thursday, June 27, 2:34 p.m. EDT: After two days of grueling questioning, Judge Debra Nelson dismissed Trayvon Martin's friend Rachel Jeantel from the witness stand, explaining that she could go home but may have to return later for more questioning, according to HLN. Jeantel appeared frustrated as she repeatedly answered the defense with terse replies when asked about her claims that Trayvon told her someone was following him and that a fight ensued. It was also revealed that English is not her first language; she also speaks Creole and Spanish. She explained that in her culture, "cracker" and the n-word are often used and are not considered derogatory. The defense tried to hammer away at inconsistencies in her story in an attempt to raise questions about her credibility as a witness. 

Thursday, June 27, 9:46 a.m. EDT: Rachel Jeantel, Trayvon Martin's friend who was the last person to speak to the teen before his fatal encounter with George Zimmerman, returned to the witness stand, reports the Associated Press. Defense attorney Don West asked her to read a letter, but she could not because she cannot read cursive. He also tried to determine how the teen's encounter with Zimmerman came to be described as "a racially charged moment." He asked Jeantel if it was because Trayvon told her he was being followed by "a creepy-ass cracker." She countered by saying she did not consider the description to be racial. Jeantel testified on Wednesday that Trayvon's last words were, "Get off! Get off!" before the phone cut off. Her testimony is important for prosecutors, who are trying to show that Zimmerman was a vigilante and the aggressor in the confrontation. 


Wednesday, June 26, 3:30 p.m. EDT: Rachel Jeantel, a friend who was on the phone with Trayvon Martin moments before he was fatally shot by George Zimmerman, testified that she told him to run after he thought he was being followed, the Associated Press reports. Jeantel, considered one of the prosecution's most important witnesses, then said that Trayvon told her he thought he had evaded the man. Moments later, she heard his headset fall and then she heard yelling. 

Wednesday, June 26, 12 p.m. EDT: A former neighbor of George Zimmerman testified on Wednesday, the third day of his second-degree-murder trial, that she heard a boy's cry for help before hearing gunfire, according to the Associated Press. But the neighbor, Jayne Surdyka, also said that she heard several gunshots: "pop, pop, pop." Only one shot was fired in the fatal encounter between Zimmerman and 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, reports show.  


Read our last set of updates on the Trayvon Martin case here.

Read all of The Root's news and commentary about the Trayvon Martin case here

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