Who is Rachel Jeantel?

By Ben Candea, Senior Web Producer, bcandea@local10.com
Published On: Jun 27 2013 06:09:35 PM EDT
Updated On: Jun 27 2013 06:49:39 PM EDT

In one day, Rachel Jeantel went from being a teenager in Miami to a major character in a nationally-watch trial.

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. -

In one day, Rachel Jeantel went from being a teenager in Miami to a major character in a nationally-watch trial.

Jeantel, 19, testified that she was on the phone with Trayvon Martin before he was shot and killed by George Zimmerman, who could get life in prison if convicted of second-degree murder.

Special section: George Zimmerman trial

A Miami Norland Senior High School band member told Local 10 he knew Jeantel, but then walked away Thursday. The school's assistant principal offered no comment.

Dee Jackson, a neighbor of Jeantel, said she stopped watching the teenager's testimony.

"They're just drilling her and then the parents were like getting upset so I didn't want to see anymore," she said.

READ: Witness Rachel Jeantel

Jeantel's family didn't answer the door Thursday. A man later called Local 10's Glenna Milberg and said he was a friend of Jeantel. He told Milberg that Jeantel is the youngest of four -- she has three brothers -- and lives with her mother.

Jeantel has appeared polite, frustrated, and sometimes combative while testifying.

Adriana Alcalde, a prosecutor in Broward County, has prepped many teenagers to testify at trial, and said you often receive teenage responses.

"Sometimes it's even hard just during direct, when they're answering your questions, to keep them focused on what you're asking," she said. "But during cross, it's harder to keep them from getting combative."

READ: Witnesses guide | Jurors guide

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