Defense calls for punishment of state prosecutor
Before Travis McMichael filed his defense Thursday morning, defense attorneys raised several issues with the judge.
Here’s what happened:
Kevin Gough, an attorney for William “Roddie” Bryan Jr., one of the co-defendants in the Ahmaud Arbery murder trial, told the court his client would not testify in his own defense.
“Mr. Bryan does not intend to testify at the trial of this case. If the state wants Mr. Bryan’s testimony, they can dismiss the indictment in this case against him with prejudice. on all the charges, then there’s something to talk about,” Gough said.
Lawyers for Travis McMichael also asked the court to prevent the state from questioning Travis McMichael about a racist text he allegedly used after Arbery was shot dead. The text was revealed by the case’s lead GBI investigator during a preliminary hearing.
“We do not believe it is appropriate to ask that question at this time. Robert (Bob) Rubin, one of Travis McMichael’s attorneys, said.
Judge Timothy Walmsley said he will review the cases provided by attorneys and will make a decision before Travis McMichael’s testimony is over.
In another attempt to keep Pastors Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson out of the courtroom, Gough filed a third motion to “prohibit any conduct that might threaten or influence jurors” on behalf of his client. To convince the court to ban the pair, Gough shared a case from 1990 where the leader of the Nation of Islam, Minister Louis Farrakhan, was removed from the public gallery of a trial.
Walmsley rejected the offer and said he had ruled on it and the court would not settle the matter, noting that the two ministers were not in the courtroom at the time.
Jackson entered the courtroom shortly before 10 a.m. ET sitting next to Wanda Cooper-Jones, Arbery’s mother, according to a pool reporter in the courtroom.
The state’s cross-examination of Travis McMichael continued after the discussion.
In the overflow room at the courthouse, people in the room wore shirts with the words “I support black pastors,” said a pool reporter inside the court.
A large rally and march in support of the Arbery family is expected later today.