Transcript for George Zimmerman Trial: Trayvon's Last Call
This is a special report from ABC news. Hello everyone I'm Tonya ribeiro in New York -- an ABC news that special digital report on the George -- trial taking place in Sanford Florida. A key -- trade on Martin's friend Rachel John tell the nineteen year old who was on the phone with Maarten in the moments when he first encountered George -- The man who shot him. To -- is hard to understand at times gives very angry and sometimes foggy answers but heard testimony. Is crucial. The defense trying to point out inconsistencies. In her account of what happened grilling her over and over about her last conversation with Martin. ABC's Lana -- is covering the trial and joins us now with more -- Carolina. Hi -- if it's exactly those inconsistency that they've been looking for and already they've been. Cautioned by the judge for asking those same questions over and over. And he ran. -- -- Him. She was one of the last people to hear -- on Martin alive and in a second day of questioning nineteen year old Rachel -- -- Testified she altered her initial testimony. Knowing trade on Martin's mother could hear her. -- Tears coming out of her eyes and you associate that with pain and grief and suffering. He decided to lie about going to the hospital. Rather than say something that might be pain. George Zimmermann attorney spent a second day trying to discredit the prosecution's star witness -- you this morning. -- he -- -- different than yesterday yesterday genteel at times exasperated. Him saying she didn't want to return to the stand. And even when. Are you refused to come back tomorrow. See you. Her testimony that Martin said what are you following me for and get -- off. Paint a picture of Zimmerman as the aggressor his defense says Zimmerman shot the teen in self defense. And at one point in court today that Herman's attorney asked her actually to -- parts of a letter. Knowing full well that she was -- able to do so. It's unclear if that move will further discredit the witness or generate sympathy for her with the jurors on NASDAQ ABC news -- -- -- -- Tanya right thank you Lana. Let's bring in now ABC's Aaron -- -- -- who is down in Sanford Florida for the trial. Hi there Aaron now obviously the prosecution's key witness -- -- tell -- on Martin's friend back on the stand. Today and the prosecution working very hard to find those contradictions. In her statements how's that going. It's been a tough day for -- -- on tell from the moment she took the witness stand for the second day this has been all cross examination. By defense attorney Don west who has been raising questions about. -- differing accounts different accounts to different people depending on who she was talking to. And as you heard -- say she at one point altered her account in order to spare the feelings of -- on Martin's mother. But when she talked to prosecutors she would say something entirely different. She is an important witness for the prosecution because it is heard testimony and her testimony alone that really suggests. Jordan Zimmermann as the aggressor. So defense attorneys are doing everything they -- to -- -- And how does the judge handling this questioning is there. Appointed -- the judges saying. -- reining in the defense attorneys general are. Welcome to. Not reining them in as much as is trying to to get them focused in and get on with it because she is difficult to understand. The defense attorney often goes back to try and make her repeat and prosecutors objected saying asked and answered. And and the judges trying to keep things moving forward but there is no doubting that that people in the courtroom are having a hard time fully understanding. What it is that -- -- on Intel is saying at one point there was some problem with -- transcript so tape recording of an interview she had given a deposition she had been given. Was brought in and what she says on the tape. Is is even difficult to understand and and is a moment of debate in court so -- -- every utterance that this woman has made over the last sixteen months as being highly scrutinized here today. And Aaron the issue later in the day was whether or not -- on yelled get off get off during his phone call. For Rachel and what was the outcome of that -- That is the scene moments for prosecutors see if it was in fact -- -- Martin that -- -- -- until heard on the phone yelling get off get off. That is what prosecutors suggest portrays George Zimmermann as the aggressor as the one who started it not. As somebody who was fighting for -- life and acting in self defense when he shot the seventeen year old. But under cross examination the defense attorney Don west questioned whether she had ever told anybody. That -- -- on Martin said get off get off until she was kind of talked into it a little bit by the prosecutors and and tomatoes until conceded. That yes she had given. Different accounts. To different people racing. Credibility questions with the juries have the jury is nonetheless. Continuing to be captivated by her testimony some take serious notes. -- as she speaks in during the exchange with the with the defense attorneys. Of the defense attorneys are ultimately hoping that if they can raise doubt about part of her testimony they'll just discredit all of her testimony. And earlier in the day Aaron the defense presented -- -- witness with a letter she allegedly wrote herself -- half of the woman earlier but she says. She can't read it now we do have a sound bite from this moment -- let's play it out. Are you unable to read that -- all. Chung. Can you read any of the words on it. -- -- Did you sign at the -- yes what name did you use that you can. -- -- And he Eugene. Now obviously this is a moment where the defense is trying to in some -- is you know -- credit. Rachel but also -- -- backfire for them this attempt to almost humiliate her. Well it -- in the way it might and if you look at social media to people who are following the case outside of the courtroom. Some are quite troubled by the way the defense attorney is seemingly badgering. The witness or attempting to humiliate her but the defense is clearly portraying her as someone who was uneducated. And -- -- the letter in question has to do with what she wrote to Sabrina Fulton -- on Martin's mother. And in that letter. She gives a differing accounts of what she says she heard on the phone with -- -- Martin then what she gave. Two others namely law enforcement officials. And the defense's questioning why two different accounts she said at one point that it was a spare the feelings of -- on Martin's mother. That's why she kind of altered some of her wording shows her words -- -- more carefully the defense of course suggesting that it was only half. After interacting with the Martin family and the -- Stanley attorney did she kind of come to some of the conclusions that she's been honoring. On the stand under direct examination. But in addition to that the content of the letter there was simply the mere fact. That that the defense force her to admit she could only read -- written pages she could not read curses handwriting. It was a painful moment to watch for jurors. They are nonetheless captivated. And it. What that about that moment with the signature at the end of that an alias that she sometimes uses the -- She is used a number of different. Nickname she says so you heard her say -- -- the -- diamond Eugene G is also gone. -- DD. And her up until the other day was simply known as witnessed eight. Her identity her real identity kept confidential we now know her full name Rachel is on -- we know she's nineteen years old. At one point she was described his trip on Martin's girlfriend she said they were simply friends. But crucial for the prosecution is this that she was the one on the phone and she is unique among all the witnesses in this case. That can describe what she says she heard. During -- -- on Martin's final moment. But there's all that witness who is in that first floor apartment -- -- who also overheard. A lot of what went down in those final few seconds. There are a lot of eyewitness accounts a lot of them are contradictory and a lot of them. The defense has been able to successfully call into question. Some people heard something but didn't necessarily see something one woman said she heard a voice voice for example. But she also conceded she could not match a face. -- that voice and so defense attorneys suggested. That in her testimony -- then wasn't terribly relevant now. How that works with the jury will we won't know until verdict time but in each instance the prosecutors have put on an eyewitness the defense has come back to trying to -- -- -- And that is what they're doing today as well all right so -- and the defense also trying to insinuate. That this case is racially charged because of comments that -- on Martin made and we heard on the phone calls on. Few choice words that we can't air is that right -- Rather the prosecution well. I'll let you decide whether to air them but -- -- the it was what. -- on my it was how -- -- on Martin. Describe the man who was following him. That led Rachel is -- -- as she testified today to conclude that his encounter with George -- Was racially motivated and as the defense pressed. She kept saying she felt it was racially motivated because of the way trades on Martin described the -- following him in the defense attorney Don west said. You mean you think this is a racial case because of something -- -- on Martin said. And that of course goes against the theory that prosecutors have been. Portraying that it was indeed George Zimmerman who was profiling. Trip on Martin perhaps because he was black that's been the undercurrent of this entire case. Store and an Aaron won't question him about -- -- tell us her. Demeanor been any different today than yesterday obviously day to on the witness stand and she certainly -- -- Yet it she has spent several hours now from the moment court opened this morning on the witness stand under cross examination and she has appeared much calmer. And she's answering Don west questions a little bit differently yesterday we heard her. Get frustrated even get a little bit angry there was some acrimony and her voice and -- It's rather testy exchanges. Today she's been saying yes sir. Yes mr. west answering more matter exactly what calmly leading Don west as you heard an inland this -- there to say. Did somebody talked to Ari are you feeling okay today you seem a little bit different. Her demeanor does seem to be a little calmer. Although you can tell it points that that she's had simply quite enough of us and -- callous -- Zimmerman and reacting to the receiving. BC does not the -- a whole lot of emotion he does it. Quite -- of the defense table occasionally looking down as if looking at something in his lap pool. Toward taking notes otherwise he he simply looks -- the witness may -- looks at something on. On the screen if there's evidence being presented. Difficult to say what he's thinking because -- his face stays rather we'll stone faced. Around all right we'll -- diversity in Sanford Florida thank you very much are you. Reporting. And for the latest on the -- are -- trial you can check out abcnews.com. I'm -- -- in New York in this has been an ABC news digital special report. This has been a special group. Report from me.
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