SANFORD, Fla. — Rachel Jeantel was the girl on the other end of the line.
She is the one who says she was talking to Trayvon Martin on the phone moments before the 17-year-old was shot to death. And that makes her a star — a key prosecution witness — in the sinuous court drama unwinding in this central Florida city near Orlando.
On Wednesday, she jolted a packed and staid courtroom, striding in wearing silver-studded high heels and a look of supreme confidence and sass. “Mr. Don,” she quipped at the defense attorney, Don West, who represents defendant George Zimmerman.
Jeantel, a sleepy eyed Miami high-schooler with long bangs, treated jurors to a gripping, but sometimes jumbled, narrative. She recounted how Martin told her a man was following him as he walked through the Retreat at Twin Lakes, a housing development where Zimmerman was a neighborhood-watch volunteer. “Creepy” was how Martin described him, Jeantel said. A “cracker.”