Defense attorneys raise more concerns with judge in Arbery’s murder trial
Gregory McMichael, Travis McMichael and William “Roddie” Bryan Jr., are on trial for the murder of Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia in 2020.
Arbery was fatally shot on February 23, 2020, during a confrontation with the McMichaels in the vicinity of Satilla Shores, outside the city of Brunswick in the lowlands of Georgia.
Arbery was jogging – which those who knew him knew he did – when the McMichaels grabbed their guns and pursued Arbery. Gregory McMichael, a former police officer and investigator at the local attorney’s office, later told police Arbery and his son struggled with his son’s shotgun, and Travis McMichael shot Arbery after The man attacked him, according to the initial police report.
Bryan joined the chase and recorded the shooting on his cell phone.
Gregory McMichael told police he and his son went after Arbery because they suspected him of being responsible for a recent series of purported burglaries in the vicinity. A spokeswoman for the Glynn County Sheriff later said only one burglary – a gun stolen from an unlocked vehicle in front of the McMichaels home – was reported in the more than seven weeks before the shooting.
Additionally, McMichael said he saw Arbery inside a house under construction. Arbery was seen entering the house in surveillance video at the location, but The owner of the house told CNN he found Arbery guilty of nothing but trespassing on the day of the shooting.
For months, the case lay dormant, and two prosecutors retrial due to a conflict of interest.
But in May, a video recorded by Bryan of the deadly interaction was made public and McMichaels was arrested a few days later. All three were together indicted by grand jury in June 2020.
At a preliminary hearing last June, Assistant Special Agent in Charge Richard Dial of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation testified Bryan told investigators he heard Travis McMichael use the following racial symbol when shooting Arbery. McMichael has also repeatedly used racial slurs on social media and on messaging services, Dial said.
Lawyers for the three defendants said they acted in self-defence. But Dial has attested to the opposite to be true.
“I believe Mr Arbery is being pursued, and he runs until he can’t run anymore, and turns his back on a man with a pistol or fights with his bare hands a man with a pistol. He chose to fight,” he said. “I believe Mr Arbery’s decision was to just try to run away, and when he felt he couldn’t escape, he chose to fight.”