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Valencia Voice

Official Student Media of Valencia College

Valencia Voice

Official Student Media of Valencia College

Valencia Voice

George Zimmerman trial enters week two of testimony

Photo Credit: TY Wright
Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton, Trayvon Martin’s parents, stood by their attorney on Thursday after the conclusion of court.

After the first week of testimony in the George Zimmerman second degree murder trial the public has witnessed explicit opening statements, graphic evidence from the night of the incident, and heard testimonies from 19 witnesses- including the State’s star witness, Rachel Jeantel.

The trial started on Monday after ten days of jury selection with the State making a very explicit opening statement using Zimmerman’s words from a non-emergency phone call he made on the night of the shooting. Assistant State Attorney, Jason Guy, dropped multiple f-bombs and used Zimmerman’s words from the phone call, “fucking punks. These assholes, they always get away,” during the nearly two hour statement.

The defense than dished out their opening statement before the State called it’s first witness of the trial to the stand. Monday saw four witnesses testify including Sean Noffke, who was the 911 operator that spoke to Zimmerman the night of Trayvon Martin’s death. During Noffke’s nearly 50 minute testimony he listened to the non-emergency call he received last year on February 26, from Zimmerman in regards to a suspicious person in the neighborhood.

Noffke told the prosecution that 911 operators are told not to give orders but merely make suggestions because of liability. After realizing Zimmerman was following Martin, Noffke stated he told Zimmerman “we don’t need you to do that.”  Noffke was questioned multiple times on whether or not he heard anger in George Zimmerman’s voice the night of the shooting, to which he replied “no sir.”

Evidence was the focus on the second day of testimony with the State presenting to the jury multiple pieces of evidence, including Martin’s hoodie, Zimmerman’s gun and photos of Martin’s lifeless body after the shooting. Tuesday’s main witness was Diana Smith, who was the Crime Scene Technician on scene the night of the incident. The State had Smith display the evidence to the jury and confirm that they were the same items collected from the night of the shooting.

Multiple residents of the Retreat at Twin Lakes testified on Wednesday including Jeanne Manalo, but the highlight of the third day of testimony was Rachel Jeantel, the 19-year old girl who was on the phone with Trayvon Martin moments before he and Zimmerman could have come face-to-face and confronted each other.

Jeantel was questioned for nearly six and a half strenuous hours- over two days- where defense attorney Don West attempted to impeach the credibility of her statement.  Her demeanor on the stand went through a drastic change as the teen came off as as being rude and inappropriate, not showing any interest in the case while responding to questions using slang words on Wednesday.  When she returned to the stand on Thursday, her responses appeared more mannerly as she responded to every answer with “sir” even at times when it seemed redundant.

The teen informed the jury that Trayvon told her a man described as a “creepy ass cracker” was following him before she suggested that he should run.  After having calls drop in out between her and Martin, Jeantel states the last words she heard from Trayvon were “get off, get off,” before the phone disconnected for the last time.  While West confronted Jeantel and told her it was Trayvon who in fact initiated the fight, she responded that was not accurate because if it was him “he would have told me.”

Before court recessed on Thursday, three more witness were brought to the stand including Raymond MacDonald, T-Mobile manager, who was brought in to confirm authenticity of phone records.  Two more Twin Lake resident were brought to the stand, Selma Mora- who witnessed a man straddling another man like a horse outside her kitchen window, and Jenna Lauer- resident who heard screaming and was on the phone with 911 dispatch when the shot went off during the night of the shooting.

Friday morning started with State attorney Bernie De La Rionda surprising many when he called John Good to the stand. Good, who was suspected to be the prosecution star witness, was the neighbor who reported that he witnessed “MMA-style” blows being thrown downward from a black man onto what appeared to be lighter skinned man however he could not “tell 100 percent that there was actually fist hitting faces” during the tussle.

After being cross examined by the prosecution he stated that it could have been Trayvon on top due to what each individual were wearing that night however could not accurately identify where the scream was coming from, all though he believed it to be Zimmerman.

The final witness of the week was physician Lindzee Folgate. Zimmerman went to see Folgate the day after the shooting where he told her he was suffering from nose pain after being pushed to the ground during an altercation. Folgate noted that Zimmerman explained to her in previous visit that he was experiencing sleeping problems and “started to exercise intensely” with MMA but it was not seeming to work.

After reviewing police pictures from the night of the incident. Folgate pointed out that the bumps and swelling on his head could be from head constantly hitting the concrete however they could also be bumps that occur naturally on the head depending on the shape.

Week two of testimony starts on Monday at 9:00 a.m. EST at the Seminole County Criminal Justice Center. For updates about everything happening inside the courthouse follow Danny Morales (@Danny_Morales_) and Ty Wright (@Tru2Ty) on Twitter.

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