FILE – This combination of booking photos provided by the Glyn County Detention Center, Georgia, shows Travis McMichael, his father Gregory McMichael and William Roddy Brian Jr. on the left. Legal experts say federal charges of hate crimes in the pursuit of 2020 and the murder of Ahmaud Arbery could prove more difficult to prosecute than a trial for the fall murder that ended in the conviction of three white men. The jury selection is scheduled to begin on Monday, February 7, 2022 at the U.S. District Court in Brunswick, Georgia. (Glyn County Content Center via AP, file)
Brunswick, GA – On Wednesday, prosecution witnesses had to reiterate their position in the federal criminal trial for hate crimes against three white people convicted of killing Ahmaud Arberi.
On the first day of testifying on Tuesday, the jury heard the defendants’ neighbors, who told how shocked they were by the fatal shooting in February 2020. They also watched videos on their cell phones and saw photos from the crime scene on which Arbury’s bloodied body was written before hearing excerpts from interviews the defendants gave to police.
Father and son Greg and Travis McMichael armed themselves and used a pickup truck to chase Arbury after spotting him fleeing his Georgia coastal area on February 23, 2020. A neighbor, William “Roddy” Brian, joined the chase in his truck and recorded on his cell phone a video in which Travis McMichael blew up Arbury with a shotgun.
There were no arrests until the video appeared online two months later.
All three are now on trial in a separate case in U.S. District Court, where they are accused of violating Arbery’s civil rights and assaulting him because he was black. They pleaded not guilty.
On Monday, a jury of eight white members, three blacks and one Hispanic took the oath to stand trial.
When the trial began on Monday, prosecutors said they would provide evidence that each of the accused had a history of racist remarks. Lawyers said there was no excuse because their clients used insults. But they insisted that the deadly pursuit of Arbury was motivated by a serious, albeit erroneous, suspicion that the 25-year-old Black man had committed the crimes.
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