The jury considered the case for more than six hours on Tuesday after the prosecution released a rebuttal of the defense’s closing arguments. Court will resume at 8:30 a.m. ET.
Each defendant faces nine separate charges, including malice and felony murder, aggravated assault, false imprisonment and attempted felony. If the jury finds Bryan not guilty of the second aggravating assault, they may consider three more misdemeanors of simple assault, reckless conduct or negligent driving.
The defendants pleaded not guilty to all charges. McMichaels announced they were arresting a citizen on suspicion of Bribery for the burglary of a nearby house under construction, and Travis McMichael acted in self-defense by shooting Arbery. Bryan insists he is innocent of any wrongdoing.
If jury deliberations continue on Wednesday, the court will adjourn for the Thanksgiving holiday and deliberations can resume Friday and Saturday if needed.
Authorities are bracing for all possible outcomes from a ruling on public reaction, which has been drawn into a trial that has always revolved around issues of self-defense and race.
“We plan for the worst, but we hope for the best. But we are trying to come up with contingencies for the many different situations that could arise as a result of the verdict. “, said Glynn County Sheriff’s Department Captain Jeremiah Bergquist, who also said the head of the local task force oversaw public safety during the trial.
The prosecution was dismissed on Tuesday
Along with Travis McMichael’s main argument for self-defence, Gregory McMichael’s attorney Laura Hogue repeatedly stated that Arbery was a frequent trespasser in the area, and said juries should consider that Gregory McMichael was in reasonable doubt for Arbery to act.
On Tuesday came a rebuttal from lead prosecutor Linda Dunikoski, who insisted to the jury that the men acted only on suspicion and there was no evidence Arbery had committed a crime. Travis McMichael also had contradictions from his court testimony when compared with his testimony with police immediately after the shooting, she added.
“If you took it out, would he still be alive?” she asked the Arbery jury. “It’s really simple. The answer is you can’t commit any of these crimes. If you commit any of the crimes they’ve committed and he’s still alive. All both fundamental felonies played an important and necessary role in causing Ahmaud Arbery’s death.”
Wanda Cooper-Jones, Arbery’s mother, said Tuesday after the trial that Dunikoski “did a great job” in her final rebuttal.
“She presented the evidence again very well. I think we will come back with a guilty verdict, and I want to go with this: God has brought us this far, and he She won’t let us down now. We will get justice for Ahmaud,” she told reporters.
Marcus Arbery Sr., Arbery’s father, said what he saw in the courtroom was “devastating”, but also expressed confidence in receiving a guilty verdict.
After the jury began deliberating, Travis McMichael’s lawyer Jason Sheffield said: “I feel very confident in the case we have brought. I feel very confident in the evidence of innocence. of Travis,” adding “we will accept judgment whatever it is.”
Jury makeup is a source of controversy
Nine white women, two white men, and one black man are serving on the trial jury, with two white women and one white man serving as surrogate jurors, according to CNN’s jury data analysis.
According to 2019 data from the U.S. Census Bureau, only one Black juror is a major complaint from prosecutors and the Arbery family, since Glynn County’s population is about 69% Caucasian. and 26% are Black. Arbery is black and the defendants are white.
Eliott C. McLaughlin, Angela Barajas, Adrienne Vogt and Jade Gordon of CNN contributed to this report.