Rachel Jeantel: ‘I Believe Trayvon Hit First’

In an interview with HuffPost Live’s Marc Lamont Hill this week, Rachel Jeantel, Trayvon Martin’s friend and “star witness” in the George Zimmerman trial, said she believes Martin threw the first punch in the altercation that resulted in his death last year.

“I believe Trayvon hit first,” she said.

However, she argued Martin’s first blow was likely caused by Zimmerman attempting to grab and detain him.

The Huffington Post has more on Jeantel’s speculation:

On the stand, Jeantel indicated that she could hear Martin saying “get off, get off” before the phone call they were on disconnected. It also expands upon the account she gave earlier this week, during an interview on CNN’s “Piers Morgan Tonight.” The 19-year-old described to Morgan how she told Martin that Zimmerman might be a “pervert” or “rapist.” She believed that Martin’s fear led him to flee the older man, but not head straight to the home where he had been staying because the 12-year-old son of his father’s fiancee was there.

Though it’s impossible to prove that Martin threw the first punch, there has been much debate about who initiated the fight that led Zimmerman to use his firearm, which he says was in self-defense.

However, it should be noted that Jeantel did not testify that she believed Martin “hit first.”

Zimmerman was recently acquitted on murder and manslaughter charges in the death of Martin.

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