Rachel Jeantel: Defense's story was 'ridiculous'

NEED TO KNOW
  • HLN's Vinnie Politan talks to Rachel Jeantel -- the prosecution's star witness in the George Zimmerman trial
  • In a special edition of 'Nancy Grace,' Jeantel opens up about details never mentioned in court
Rachel Jeantel: Defense's story was 'ridiculous'

In a one-on-one interview during a special edition of Nancy Grace's show Wednesday night, Rachel Jeantel -- the prosecution’s star witness in the George Zimmerman trial -- told HLN’s Vinnie Politan in no uncertain terms what her message to the recently acquitted Zimmerman would be.

“I don’t know how you sleep at night,” Jeantel said.

Jeantel, 19, testified in Zimmerman’s trial about the final moments of Trayvon Martin’s life. A friend of Martin’s, she was on the phone with him just before he got into a fatal altercation with Zimmerman on Feb. 26, 2012.

Zimmerman was acquitted Saturday of all charges related to Martin’s death.

Jeantel’s testimony riveted trial watchers, but she’s also been criticized for her attitude in court, her manner of speech and her credibility.

Watch more: Jeantel's message for Trayvon: 'Thank you'

She spoke to Politan, host of HLN After Dark, about what really went on in the courtroom, and what jurors never got to hear about her final conversation with Trayvon Martin.

Politan asked her to explain more about what Martin told her the night he died.

“He told me a strange man, who we now know as George, kept following him toward his father’s fiancée’s house,” Jeantel said.

She went on to say that she initially told Martin on the phone that a rapist could be following him, and that, after that, Martin started to sound worried.

“He started walking back from that area toward his father’s house,” Jeantel told Politan. She said Martin told her he was going to take a shortcut, and he said nothing about attacking the man who was following him.

“He was trying to get home,” Jeantel said. “He did not sound like he was quiet. He was talking loud, he was breathing hard. The defense’s claim that [Trayvon] was hiding behind a tree, that was ridiculous.”

She went on to tell Politan that after she heard Martin ask Zimmerman why he was following him, she also heard Zimmerman say, “What are you doing around here?” “And then I heard this punch, not punch, but a push, and a fight started. I’m hearing Trayvon say ‘get off, get off.’”

Watch more: The story Rachel Jeantel never got a chance to tell

The investigation of this case has been criticized by not only a variety of experts, but also by state prosecutors. Politan asked Jeantel about the initial investigation, and she said it wasn’t police who contacted her.

“It was Trayvon’s father, Tracy Martin,” Jeantel told Politan. “It’s ridiculous how officers who had Trayvon’s phone couldn’t have called me or looked at the last number.”

Since Jeantel’s been criticized for her attitude and sparring with Zimmerman’s defense attorney, Politan asked her whether she has any regrets.

“Control my attitude,” Jeantel said. “I had an attorney attacking me.”

Jeantel also mentioned a Tweet she sent out that included a picture of her freshly painted nails in court, and called it her “teenager moment.”

Follow Alexandra Thomas on Twitter @AlexThomasHLN

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