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Ahmaud Arbery murder trial: about to go before a jury

Dozens of Black Lives Matter and Black Panther protesters gather outside the Glynn County Courthouse where Travis McMichael, his father, Gregory McMichael and William “Roddie” Bryan are being tried on Monday, November 22, 2021, in Brunswick, Georgia. The three men accused of the murder in February 2020 of Ahmaud Arbery, 25. (AP Photo / Stephen B. Morton)

BRUNSWICK, Ga (AP) – The final stages of the trial of three white men accused of the murder of Ahmaud Arbery were scheduled for Tuesday before the case of the death of the 25-year-old black man went to the jury.

Prosecutors planned to take much of Tuesday morning to present their final case to jurors, as lawyers’ hours of argument spilled over to a second day. The prosecution has the final say in the trial because it bears the burden of proving its case beyond a reasonable doubt.

Superior Court Judge Timothy Walmsley must then give instructions on how to apply the law before the disproportionately white jury can begin their deliberations at the Glynn County Courthouse in the port city of Brunswick.

Arbery’s murder became part of a larger national calculation of racial injustice after a graphic video of his death leaked online two months later.

Father and son Greg and Travis McMichael seized guns and chased Arbery in a van after seeing him driving through their housing estate on February 23, 2020. A neighbor, William “Roddie” Bryan, walked away. joined in the lawsuit and recorded the video of the opening of Travis McMichael. fire as Arbery threw punches and grabbed McMichael’s shotgun.

No one was charged with the murder until Bryan’s video was leaked and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation took over the case from the local police. The three men are charged with murder and other offenses.

“They made the decision to attack Ahmaud Arbery in their alleys because he was a black man running down the street,” prosecutor Linda Dunikoski told the jury in her opening closing arguments Monday.

Defense attorneys used their closing arguments on Monday to claim the McMichaels were attempting to arrest a legal citizen when they left after Arbery, seeking to arrest him and question him as a suspected burglar afterwards being seen fleeing from a nearby house under construction.

Lawyer Jason Sheffield said his client Travis McMichael fired his shotgun in self-defense after Arbery came to charge him throwing punches and trying to grab the gun. He called Arbery’s death a tragedy, but his fault.

Lawyers for the other two defendants also blamed Arbery. Laura Hogue, lawyer for Greg McMichael, said Arbery “chose to fight.” Kevin Gough, who represents Bryan, wondered why Arbery hadn’t called for help if he was in danger.

“Maybe it’s because Mr. Arbery doesn’t want help,” Gough said.

Prosecutors said there was no evidence Arbery committed any crimes in the accused’s neighborhood. He had enrolled in a technical high school and was preparing at the time to study to become an electrician like his uncles.


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