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Trayvon Martin Case: Handwritten letter from girl reportedly on phone with slain teen made public

New details have emerged in the controversy over the death of Trayvon Martin. But, as Mark Strassmann reports, the new information only confuses things further.

Details shed new light on Trayvon Martin case
Trayvon Martin
personal photo

(CBS) - A handwritten letter sent to Trayvon Martin's parents by the girl who says she was on the phone with Martin just before the teen was fatally shot has been made public, as part of new filings in the case against George Zimmerman.

PICTURES: George Zimmerman faces murder charge

According to the Orlando Sentinel, the letter was attached to prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda's response to a defense request for sanctions against the state for not revealing that the girl, known as Witness 8, had made false statements.

Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder in the Feb. 26, 2012 shooting death of Martin. He has pleaded not guilty and says he shot the unarmed teen in self-defense during an altercation in Sanford, Fla.

Martin was visiting his father's apartment complex when he encountered Zimmerman, a volunteer neighborhood watchman, after going to a nearby 7-11 during the NBA All-Star game. On the night in question, Zimmerman called police to report seeing someone suspicious in the complex; he told the operator that there had been break-ins recently in the area.

In the girl's letter to Martin's parents, dated March 19. 2012, she misspells Trayvon's first name twice (referring to him as Trevon). She writes that she was "on the phone with Trevon when he decided to go to the cornerstore [sic]."

She continues: "It started to rain so he decided to walk through another complex because it was raining to [sic] hard. He started walking then noticed someone was following him. Then he decided to find a shortcut cause the man wouldn't follow him. Then he said the man didn't follow him again. Then he looked back and saw the man again. The man started getting closer. Then Trevon turned around and said why are you following me. Then I heard him fall, then the phone hung up."

The Sentinel reports that Witness 8 has been caught in two apparent lies: she reportedly misstated her age and lied about being hospitalized during Martin's wake.

The defense reportedly denied any misconduct regarding its handling of the girl's statements.

Complete coverage of the Trayvon Martin case on CBS News

  • Julia Dahl

    Julia Dahl writes about crime and justice for CBSNews.com

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