Ahmaud Arbery family braces for murder trial of 3 white men

Asia's Tech News Daily

In a state that didn’t have a hate-crime law until this year and where vigilante citizens’ arrests were sometimes permitted by the government, three white men are set to go on trial for the murder of Ahmaud Arbery, a Black man prosecutors allege was “hunted down and ultimately executed” while out for a Sunday jog.

Jury selection begins on Monday in the high-profile case that sparked nationwide protests and sent Georgia lawmakers scrambling to rewrite the state’s statutes. Legal experts say they expect the graphic details of how the 25-year-old Arbery was gunned down to be intertwined with Georgia’s long history of racial unrest.

© Sean Rayford/Getty Images, FILE

Lee Merritt and Benjamin Crump, the Arbery family attorneys, have called the killing a “modern-day lynching” and said the accused are now trying to use Georgia’s laws at the time of Arbery’s death to defend their actions.

“There’s some segment of that community that believes what they did was a good thing. That’s not a fringe opinion. That defense is what their lawyers are hanging their hat on,” Merritt told ABC News.

© Sean Rayford/Getty Images, FILE Demonstrators protest the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery at the Glynn County Courthouse, May 8, 2020, in Brunswick, Ga. Gregory McMichael and Travis McMichael were arrested the previous night and charged with murder.

The three defendants are Gregory McMichael, 65, a retired police officer, his son, Travis McMichael, 35, and their neighbor, William “Roddie” Bryan, 52.

“Just to think about what I have to go through in the midst of the trial … it’s really scary,” Arbery’s mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, told ABC News. “Some days I have my doubts of getting justice for Ahmaud.”

On Saturday, dozens of protesters rallied in front of the Glynn County Courthouse in Brunswick, Georgia, to demand justice for Arbery’s family.

The defendants are not facing state hate crime charges because at the time of Arbery’s killing Georgia was one of just four states that didn’t have such a law. Upon signing Georgia’s new hate-crime law in June, Gov. Brian Kemp cited the Arbery case, saying, “We saw injustice with our own eyes.”

The McMichaels have pleaded not guilty to charges of murder and aggravated assault. Bryan has also pleaded not guilty to charges of murder and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment.

© Glynn County Sheriffs Office Booking photos of Travis McMichael, his father Gregory McMichael and William “Roddie” Bryan Jr. who have been charged in the Feb. 23, 2020, shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery, in Georgia.

The three men were also indicted on federal hate crime charges in April and have all pleaded not guilty.

According to court documents and evidence presented at previous hearings, the men plan to invoke Georgia’s “citizen’s arrest” statute as a defense, a pre-Civil War-era law that was repealed in May primarily due to the Arbery killing. Kemp called the measure an “antiquated law that is ripe for abuse.”

“The remarkable part of this is that the case that caused the law to change is the one that’s now being tried. That doesn’t happen very often, if ever,” Ronald Carlson, a law professor emeritus at the University of Georgia Law School, told ABC News.

Attorneys for the McMichaels filed a motion this week asking a judge to allow the jury to hear that at the time of his death Arbery was on probation. In an angry response, Crump said the request is a last-minute “attempt to assassinate the character of Ahmaud Arbery.”

“The family and our legal team have faith that the court will see through this tactic and deliver Ahmaud and his family justice,” Crump said. “If these killers get off without consequence that sends a message that lynching Black men in 2021 carries no penalty.”

1,000 jury questionnaires sent out

A thousand questionnaires were sent out to prospective jurors, or about one in every 85 eligible residents in Glynn County, Georgia, Ron Adams, the Glynn County Court Clerk, told The Associated Press.

Brian Buckmire, a homicide public defender in Brooklyn, New York, and an ABC News contributor, said despite the large jury pool he believes “it’s going to be extremely difficult” to find 12 impartial people plus alternates to serve on the panel.

“It’s going to be on the tip of their tongues and in the back of their heads,” said Buckmire, who is also an anchor for the Law & Crime Network. “I think it’s going to be hard to find someone who already hasn’t come up with a conclusion to this case.”

© Sean Rayford/Getty Images, FILE Wanda Cooper-Jones, mother of Ahmaud Arbery, stands in front of a painting of her son after a candlelight vigil for him at New Springfield Baptist Church on Feb. 23, 2021, in Waynesboro, Ga., on the anniversary of his death.

Since Arbery’s killing in February 2020, the case has frequently been in the national spotlight as protesters took to the streets for days to demand the suspects be arrested and as two district attorneys recused themselves.

Former Brunswick District Attorney Jackie Johnson, the first prosecutor to get the case and who once had a working relationship with Gregory McMichael, was indicted in September on a felony count of violating her oath of office by allegedly “showing favor and affection” to Gregory McMichael and a misdemeanor count of hindering a law enforcement officer. Johnson, who lost a reelection bid in November 2020, has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Bombshell video and racial slur

Travis and Gregory McMichael were arrested on May 7, 2020, more than two months after Arbery’s death. They were charged with murder when a cellphone video surfaced showing them blocking Arbery’s path with their pickup truck on a street in their Satilla Shores neighborhood near Brunswick.

The footage shows Arbery attempting to go around the McMichaels’ parked vehicle only to run into Travis McMichael. The video shows the two men fighting and Travis McMichael firing the first shotgun blast, hitting Arbery in the chest, his white T-shirt immediately seen soaked in blood. He attempted to run but collapsed and died at the scene, the video shows.

An autopsy found that Arbery was shot two additional times, once in the upper left chest and in the right wrist, authorities said.

Bryan, who took the video as he drove up on the scene in his truck, was arrested about two weeks after Travis and Gregory McMichael.

“That’s going to be the star of the show and it will be shown more than once,” Carlson said of the video. “I would say, Rodney King, George Floyd and the Arbery videos are three of the most key pieces of criminal case demonstrative evidence that we’ve ever seen.”

The video was played at a preliminary hearing in June 2020, a proceeding that resulted in a judge ordering the three defendants to stand trial for murder.

Afternoon jog turns deadly

Arbery was out for a Sunday afternoon jog on Feb. 23, 2020, through the mostly-white Satilla Shores neighborhood when he stopped and went into a house under construction, according to evidence presented at the preliminary hearing. A surveillance video showed Arbery, who lived in another neighborhood of Brunswick, inside the unsecured house looking around and leaving empty-handed.

© Sean Rayford/Getty Images, FILE A man organizes t-shirts memorializing George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery outside the Glynn County Courthouse where Gregory and Travis McMichael attended a preliminary hearing on June 4, 2020 in Brunswick, Ga.

Arbery continued jogging past the McMichaels’ home, where Gregory McMichael spotted him and believed he matched the description of a burglary suspect seen on a surveillance video posted online by his neighborhood association, according to his lawyer.

Investigators allege that Gregory McMichael and his son armed themselves and chased after Arbery in their pickup truck. Bryan allegedly joined the pursuit and, according to prosecutors, attempted to use his truck to block Arbery’s path.

MORE: Timeline: Events leading up to the arrests of 3 men in the murder of Ahmaud Arbery

During the June preliminary hearing, Richard Dial, a special agent for the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, testified that Bryan told investigators that he heard Travis McMichael yell a racial slur to Arbery as he lay dying on the ground.

Self-defense argument

Travis McMichael contends he shot Arbery in self-defense.

In an attempt to allege Arbery had a propensity to be aggressive when confronted by law enforcement, defense attorneys motioned to get Arbery’s past run-ins with police and a 2018 mental health diagnosis indicating he may have suffered from schizoaffective disorder presented to the jury. Chatham County Superior Court Judge Timothy R. Walmsley, who was appointed to preside over the Glynn County trial, rejected both requests deeming them irrelevant to the case.

MORE: Ahmaud Arbery’s mother files federal lawsuit against 3 men accused of killing son

Carlson said the trial judge might seek to strike a balance and not allow prosecutors to introduce racist messages they allege Travis McMichael texted to friends or his vanity license plate of the Confederate flag.

“The judge will, of course, work very hard to try to make sure that the racial aspect of the case, racial animus, racial dislike does not play a huge role in emotionalizing the case,” Carlson said. “But it’s certainly not helpful to the defense.”

ABC News’ Sabina Ghebremedhin contributed to this report.

Internet Explorer Channel Network
Asia's Tech News Daily
News Related


Best Gifts for Brothers

© Credits: Image by Deagreez on iStock Brother and sister on orange background Whether he looked after you when you were kids or infuriated you by reading your secret diary ... Read more »

Best Christmas Crackers

© Credits: Image by monkeybusinessimages on iStock Christmas Crackers Christmas crackers are wonderful additions to a Christmas dinner party, but you can often end up with disappointment. Lots of lower ... Read more »

Javier Bardem 'very proud' of Penelope Cruz

© Bang Showbiz Javier Bardem is grateful to have Penelope Cruz Javier Bardem is “very proud” of Penelope Cruz. The 52-year-old actor admitted it “helps” that he and his wife ... Read more »

Fans left in hysterics after Adele compares herself to Voldemort in NikkieTutorials video

© YouTube / NikkieTutorials Adele in NikkieTutorials video The most iconic crossover in history has happened. Singer Adele and makeup guru NikkieTutorials dropped a video together, and one comment Adele ... Read more »

Edinburgh councillors re-run vote on controversial road closure after legal advice that original vote could be ope to legal challenge

© Brunstane Road will be closed by an experimental traffic regulation order. Image: Google Streetvie… Let us know what you think and join the conversation at the bottom of this ... Read more »

Lira crash slams Turkey's factories, farmers and retailers

© Provided by Al Jazeera The Turkish lira has lost more than 45 percent of its value against the United States dollar this year [File: Murad Sezer/Reuters] Istanbul, Turkey – ... Read more »

Coronavirus: UAE reports 54 new cases from 235,292 tests

© PAWAN SINGH A security guard checks the temperature of a visitor at the Al Awir fruit and vegetable market in Dubai. Pawan Singh / The National Live updates: follow ... Read more »

How someone first encounters Covid ‘shapes their future immune response'

Whichever wave or variant caused an individual’s coronavirus infection shapes their response to subsequent infections, according to a new study. This is something called immune imprinting, and researchers found that ... Read more »

Economy added just 210,000 jobs last month

The latest monthly data comes ahead of any impact from the omicron variant. Read more »

Sean Conley, Trump's White House doctor, facing fresh scrutiny over Covid test timeline

Former President Donald Trump’s positive Covid test in September 2020, three days before the first presidential debate, is raising new questions about whether Trump’s physician at the time, Dr. Sean ... Read more »

Ed Sheeran and Elton John review, Merry Christmas: Gooey as a wheel of old camembert

© Zakary Walters Elton John and Ed Sheeran have released a Christmas song – Zakary Walters Ed Sheeran’s got his list and he’s checking it twice. “Wait, what’s that Santa? ... Read more »

'Pub culture in Europe is engrained in music,' says Stone Jets vocalist Nkanyane

© Provided by 702 Stone Jets came about when bassist and vocalist Given Nkanyane and guitarist Manfred Klose met in Cape Town. Nkanayane is originally from Limpopo. They are now ... Read more »

Health department 'has no idea why the test for Covid-19 still costs R850'

© Provided by SowetanLive The cost of Covid-19 testing — set at R850 per test by some private laboratories — is being investigated by the Competition Commission after the Council ... Read more »

Michael Gove accused of hypocrisy over Grenfell comments

© PA Michael Gove – PA Labour has accused Michael Gove of hypocrisy after he criticised a Formula One team for accepting sponsorship from a company linked to the Grenfell ... Read more »

Beer association in court bid to boot booze bans

© Provided by SowetanLive The Beer Association of SA (Basa) has launched a court application seeking to declare alcohol bans imposed since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic irrational and ... Read more »

Gordon: Pharmally execs may be detained at Pasay City jail until June 30, 2022

— Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corporation officials Mohit Dargani and Linconn Ong might be detained at the Pasay City jail until the end of the 18th Congress or June 30, 2022, Senate ... Read more »

Trending TV News Today: Ankita Lokhande-Vicky Jain's pre-wedding festitivies begin, Rekha graces Neil Bhatt-Aishwarya Sharma's wedding reception and more

© Provided by BollywoodLife.com Let’s have a dekko at the top TV newsmakers of the day here: Ankita’s pre-wedding functions begin Ankita Lokhande and Vicky Jain are soon going to ... Read more »

Question Time audience laughs as Tory minister tries to defend Downing Street party

A BBC audience laughed openly at a Tory minister as she tried to defend a No10 party – insisting “all guidance was followed”. Vaccines Minister Maggie Throup came unstuck on ... Read more »

Around the World in 80 Days release date, trailer, cast, plot: When is series out?

© BBC Around the World 1 Around the World in 80 Days has been in development since September 2020 and is set to be one of the BBC’s biggest series ... Read more »

Almost 900,000 people had Covid on any given day in England last week

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo Almost 900,000 people in England had Covid on any given day last week, official data suggested today as the country’s outbreak continued to ... Read more »

Vicky Kaushal & Katrina Kaif Wedding: Sawai Madhopur District Magistrate calls for meeting to discuss security

© Provided by Pinkvilla Vicky Kaushal and Katrina Kaif’s wedding has become the talk of the town currently. There is no official confirmation but still, new reports are coming in. ... Read more »

Coldplay joins BTS for final day of Permission to Dance on Stage

© Provided by Mid-Day The four day BTS ‘Permission to Dance’ concerts in Los Angeles have been surprising fans with appearances from stars like Meghan Thee Stallion, Halsey and the ... Read more »

Neo-Nazi jailed for membership of banned group

A man convicted of acting as “head of propaganda” for a banned neo-Nazi terror group set up to wage a race war in Britain has received an extended 10-year prison ... Read more »

Market Movers: Voda Idea rolls eyes at analysts, party at IPO mart continues

NEW DELHI: The detection of the Omicron variant in India seems to have spooked investors. Most benchmark heavyweights plunged, but traders seem to have a different view on smaller stocks ... Read more »

Two soldiers killed in Islamist militant attack in northern Benin, army says

COTONOU (Reuters) -Two soldiers were killed and several more wounded when Islamist militants attacked a border security post in northern Benin on Wednesday night, the army said. The raid in ... Read more »

Ticketless Euro final fans targeted disabled supporters ‘in predatory fashion'

Ticketless fans targeted disabled supporters in a “predatory” way as they tried to get inside Wembley Stadium for the Euro 2020 final, a review has found. One shocking incident saw ... Read more »

Winchester man charged with burglarizing home he once lived in

WINCHESTER, Ind. — A Winchester man is accused of breaking into a home he had until recently lived in. Dallas Keith Necessary, 29, was charged this week with burglary and ... Read more »

2021 holiday gift guide: A present for every room in the house

Heading into our second holiday season during a global pandemic, you might be struggling with gift ideas for the people in your life. With the majority of people still spending ... Read more »

Austrian resignations trigger change of chancellor

© Getty Images Karl Nehammer said it was a great honour to take on the role of chancellor After 24 hours of political turmoil, Austria’s ruling People’s Party has chosen ... Read more »

Gambia will head to polls in 1st post-Jammeh election

BANJUL, Gambia — Gambians vote Saturday in a historic election that will for the first time not have former dictator Yahya Jammeh, who ruled for 22 years, on the ballot. ... Read more »

Futures edge lower ahead of payrolls report

© Reuters/Andrew Kelly FILE PHOTO: A street sign for Wall Street is seen outside the New York Stock Exchange in Manhattan, New York City By Devik Jain (Reuters) – U.S. ... Read more »

Billie Eilish goes brunette and ditches blonde locks

© Bang Showbiz Billie Eilish has shown off her new ‘do (c) instagram.com/billieeilish Billie Eilish has gone brunette after ditching her blonde locks. The 19-year-old star has refreshed her look ... Read more »

The Mercedes F1 team is facing sharp criticism for signing a sponsorship deal with a company linked to the Grenfell disaster

© AP Photo/Luca Bruno Lewis Hamilton, the Mercedes F1 lead driver. AP Photo/Luca Bruno 72 people died when a fire ripped through Grenfell Tower, a residential block in London, in ... Read more »

Hollyoaks reveals festive box set plans

© Bang Showbiz Hollyoaks reveals festive box set plans ‘Hollyoaks’ is to release all of the show’s festive episodes as an All 4 box set. The Channel 4 soap has ... Read more »

Will Smith named Best Actor by National Board of Review

© Provided by Cover Media Will Smith Will Smith has been named Best Actor by America’s National Board of Review. The Men in Black star was honoured for his performance ... Read more »

China Evergrande gets $260 million demand, warns of non-payment

© Reuters/ALY SONG FILE PHOTO: Headquarters of China Evergrande Group in Shenzhen (Reuters) -China Evergrande has got a demand under a $260 million guarantee obligation, the company said on Friday, ... Read more »

Judge rules teenager, 16, who stabbed father-of-four to death can be named

A teenage boy who stabbed a father-of-four to death on the day of his twin daughters’ second birthday party can now be named after a ruling by a High Court ... Read more »

Antony Sher dead – legendary stage actor, 72, who was Prince Charles' favourite performer loses battle with cancer

PRINCE Charles' favourite actor Antony Sher has died at the age of 72. The legendary stage actor, best known for his work performing Shakespeare, was diagnosed with terminal cancer in September. Antony ... Read more »

Mental Health In The Community // AUMHC

Visit AUMHC.org or call 303.617.2300 today! Read more »

“What kind of baby not wear mask, huh?” Local Karen in MRT berates mum for not putting mask on her baby

© The Independent Singapore Disclaimer: Microsoft News is currently reviewing the accuracy of this story with the publisher due to social media source. Updates will be published here if needed. ... Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic