Jacksonville attorney discusses key witness' testimony in George Zimmerman trial

Attorney says Rachel Jeantel helped prosecution move forward

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The prosecution's top witness in the George Zimmerman case, Rachel Jeantel, is trending on social media.

This is largely because of her sometimes moody exchanges with the defense lawyers.

Jeantel's demeanor on the witness stand raised a lot of eyebrows and even got a few laughs, but a Jacksonville defense attorney said Jeantel still helped the prosecution move forward.

For the second day in row, 19-year-old Rachel Jeantel didn't disappoint. Her heated exchanges between defense attorney Don West were at times intense.

Jeantel's feisty attitude landed her hash-tagged name as one of the top trending topics on Twitter.

"Wow, was she a zany witness," said Jacksonville attorney John Phillips. "We kind of joked, say we're glad 'Saturday Night Live' is on hiatus because it would have been definite fodder."

Despite Jeantel's comical and sometimes cringing performance, Phillips said that her testimony did not hurt the prosecution, but rather helped them.

"All of the witnesses are starting to impeach what George Zimmerman's side of the story is, and as long as they're saying look, this wasn't quite a pure self-defense case, Jeantel is the prosecution's star witness," said Phillips. "Phone records show she was talking to Trayvon Martin just moments before he was shot and killed by Zimmerman."

Phillips said he thinks the defense hurt themselves during cross examination by taking too long to discredit Jeantel's testimony.

"As a trial lawyer, if the defense is really trying to impeach somebody, you need to do it with a scalpel and what Done West was doing for over 6.5 hours was more like a hacksaw," said Phillips.

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