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TODAY   |  June 28, 2013

Trayvon Martin’s friend faces intense scrutiny in court

Rachel Jeantel, 19, the last person to speak to Trayvon Martin before his death, was back on the stand Thursday, facing tough questions from George Zimmerman’s attorneys. NBC’s Kerry Sanders reports.

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>> another day of compelling testimony is expected in a florida courtroom as the first week of the george zimmerman trial wraps up today. nbc's kerry sanders is there. good morning to you.

>> good morning matt. the witness is back this morning after a second day on the stand where defense attorneys hammered away at her credibility.

>> good morning.

>> good morning.

>> 19-year-old rachel gentel back on the stand. this time appearing more subdued but as the day progressed her answers grew more intense.

>> yes, sir.

>> she testified she was on the phone with 17-year-old trayvon martin moments before he was shot and killed by george zimmerman . she told jurors an attorney for trayvon martin's family first asked her if race was a factor that night. she was asked about that again in court thursday.

>> describing the person is what made you think it was racial.

>> yes.

>> and that's because he described him as a creepy [ bleep ] cracker.

>> yes.

>> but on thursday she testified she omitted that description in a letter to trayvon martin's mother.

>> of course you wouldn't say it to sabrina fulton because it was offensive, correct?

>> yes, that was disrespectful.

>> also in question, the last thing she heard.

>> get off, get off.

>> she testified she heard the words get off, get off, before the phone went dead. but she also said this.

>> so the last thing you heard was some kind of noise like something hitting somebody.

>> like trayvon got hit, hit. trayvon got hit.

>> you don't know that do you?

>> no.

>> you don't know that -- you don't know trayvon didn't at that moment take his fist and drive it into george zimmerman 's face, do you?

>> no, sir.

>> also on the stand thursday, jenna lauer who made the 911 call that captured the sounds leading up to trayvon martin's death.

>> so you think he is yelling help?

>> yes.

>> all right. what is your --

>> just, there's gunshots.

>> it kind of just sounded like wrestling. at one point i felt like they were about to come through the screen. it sounded like it kept getting closer and closer.

>> another neighbor testifying in spanish was asked by the defense to demonstrate what she did that night.

>> i heard the noise, i ran.

>> reporter: she says she went outside and saw two people on the ground.

>> george zimmerman pled not guilty. he says he shot and killed trayvon martin in self-defense, savannah.

>>> all right. kerry sanders in sanford, florida, thank you. a