George Zimmerman trial: Friend testifies Trayvon Martin said "Get off, get off" before deadly altercation

Rachel Jeantel, George Zimmerman Trial
Rachel Jeantel, a friend of Trayvon Martin, testified at George Zimmerman's murder trial Wednesday, June 26, 2013. CBS

(CBS) SANFORD, Fla. -  A friend of Florida teen Trayvon Martin who was on the phone with him just before he was fatally shot by former neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman gave emotional testimony at Zimmerman's murder trial Wednesday afternoon.

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Rachel Jeantel, 19, is a crucial witness for prosecutors. Jeantel cried at points during her testimony, describing the last phone call she had with Martin, whom she described as her "friend."

Jeantel was sometimes difficult to understand, prompting attorneys and the judge to ask her to speak up and repeat her answers to questions.

Jeantel said Martin complained to her that a man he described as a "creepy ass cracker" was following him through the community as he was walking home from buying snacks at a 7-Eleven. "He kept complaining that a man was just watching him," Jeantel said.

George Zimmerman trial: Trayvon Martin's friend testifies

Martin told her he wanted to try and "lose" the man and starting walking back home, leaving the area near the mailboxes, she said.

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"So he told me the man was looking at him, and I had to think it might have been a rapist," Jeantel said.

At one point during the call, she said she told him to run. Martin said no. She said the conversation turned to an all-star basketball game before Martin told her that the man was still following him.

Later, she said she heard Martin say, "Why are you following me for?' And then I heard a hard breathing man say, 'What are you doing around here.'"

Jeantel said she then heard a "bump" and a sound like "wet grass."

"I was trying to say Trayvon, Trayvon, what's going on," Jeantel testified. "I started hearing a little of Trayvon saying 'Get off, get off.'"

That's when the phone disconnected.

When asked by prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda whether she ever spoke with Martin again, she said, "No."

Jeantel cried as she described not going to Martin's wake because, she said, she didn't want to see the body.

"I felt guilty," Jeantel said. "I was last person to talk to their son and I ain't go to the wake."

Jeantel has been referred to in some media reports as Martin's girlfriend. She said on the stand Wednesday that the two were "just friends."

Complete coverage of the George Zimmerman-Trayvon Martin case on Crimesider