George Zimmerman's defense attorney during several testy exchanges with an important prosecution witness Thursday asked if Trayvon Martin injected race into a confrontation with the neighborhood watch volunteer.
Rachel Jeantel, 19, testified about the night Zimmerman shot the 17-year-old after a fight that Jeantel said she overheard while on the phone with Martin. Jeantel has said Martin told her he was being followed by a "creepy-ass cracker" -- implying Martin was being followed by a white man because of his race.
“In the culture that you live in, in your community, people there call white people ‘crackers’?” defense attorney Don West asked.
“Yes, sir,” Jeantel replied.
“And do they use the n-word regularly?” he asked.
“And, you’re saying, so did Trayvon Martin?” he asked. “Trayvon Martin referred to white people as crackers, correct?” he inquired once more after a long pause.
“I don’t recall, sir,” Jeantel finally responded.
After Jeantel left the witness stand, a mobile phone manager testified about Martin's cell phone records and a former neighbor of Zimmerman testified she heard yelps for help outside her townhome on the night Martin was shot. Jenna Lauer said she couldn't tell who was screaming.
"They were being hurt," Lauer said, describing the person screaming.
Before court recessed for the day, defense attorney Mark O'Mara asked another former neighbor to recreate for jurors how she reacted when she heard what turned out to be a gunshot and ran out of her town-house to see what was going on. The request had Selma Mora in the unusual position of standing up from the witness stand and pretending to be in her kitchen in front of the judge's bench.
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The Associated Press contributed to this story.