- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 27, 2013

A teenage girl who was called to testify in the prosecution of George Zimmerman for second-degree murder was caught in a curious predicament Thursday after it became evident she couldn’t read from the very letter she claimed to have written to the mother of her friend Trayvon Martin.

In court, Rachel Jeantel was trying to read from what she said was a letter she sent to Martin’s mother describing the last few moments of his life, which she claimed she heard on the phone. But she stumbled badly, ABC reported.

Mr. Zimmerman’s defense attorney, Don West, finally asked, “Are you able to read that at all?”


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Ms. Jeantel, 19, said in a whisper with her head down: “Some but not all. I don’t read cursive.”

The courtroom quieted in shock, ABC said. Ms. Jeantel couldn’t read anything on the letter she claimed to write — except for her name, ABC reported.

The line of questioning was aimed at vetting Ms. Jeantel’s testimony for truthfulness. She is a key prosecution witness in the trial of 29-year-old Mr. Zimmerman, charged in the February 2012 shooting death of 17-year-old Martin. She is believed to be the last person to speak with Martin before he died, ABC reported. Mr. West spent two hours questioning her on the stand on Wednesday, accusing her on several occasions of lying under oath.