The three defendants in the Ahmaud Arbery murder case are scheduled for court Friday morning. You can watch it in the player above at 10 a.m. ET. The Law&Crime Network’s Brian Buckmire will host live coverage.
Gregory McMichael, 64, son Travis McMichael, 34, and neighbor William Bryan, 50, are accused of chasing down the victim in a tragic confrontation on Feb. 23 in Brunswick, Georgia.
Ahmaud Arbery’s murder was caught on video! It’s graphic but must be shared. @BenCrumpLaw will be representing Ahmaud’s father Marcus Arbery as we seek justice in this modern-day lynching. Everyone must know the truth! #JusticeforAhmaudArbery pic.twitter.com/y4kBgRJ8X6
— Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) May 5, 2020
[Warning: The video is disturbing.]
The question before the court is: Is this murder? Prosecutors and attorneys for Arbery’s family say yes. The McMichaels chased the victim in a Ford F-150, while Bryan drove a Chevy Silverado pickup truck, authorities said. Bryan filmed while father and son confronted the 25-year-old Arbery, and Travis shot the victim with 12-gauge shotgun, according to the indictment obtained by Law&Crime.
At the time of the killing, Gregory McMichael allegedly told police that they believed Arbery was involved in several burglaries in the area. But there was only one reported burglary in the area in recent weeks: a January 1 alleged theft in which a gun was stolen from a pickup truck outside Travis McMichael’s home.
911 audio from shortly before the shooting showed a caller reporting a black man in a white T-shirt at a nearby house under construction.
The operator asked if the subject was breaking into it.
“No, it’s all open, it’s under construction,” he said. “And he is running right now. There he goes right now.”
Arbery’s family said he was jogging. The owner of the home in question, Larry English, said there he never had anything stolen from the property.
Race also infuses the case. The defendants are all white. Arbery was black. Bryan said Travis McMichael called the victim a “fucking n****r” after the shooting and before the police arrived, Georgia Bureau of Investigation Special Agent Richard Dial testified in a June 4 hearing.
The McMichaels were denied bond. Bryan’s attorney Kevin Gough recently asked for the chance to post bail, arguing the defendant posted no threat of fleeing, no significant danger to anyone, no significant risk of committing any felony pending trail, and no significant risk of getting in the way of the investigation (including intimidating witnesses). He has maintained his client’s innocence.
Lawyers for the McMichaels also assert their clients are not guilty.
“Greg McMichael did not commit murder,” the elder McMichael’s attorney Franklin Hogue said in May, according to NPR. “Greg McMichael is not a party to the crime of murder.” Co-counsel and wife Laura Hogue said that not all of the facts of the case had been made public.
“Given the daily onslaught over the last several weeks of new information — some credible, some not so credible — you must also know how much work there still is to be done,”she said, according to CBS News. “But significantly, we know several other critically important facts. Those facts point to a very different narrative than the one that brings you all here today. Those facts will be revealed where all facts that matter are revealed: in a courtroom.”
The defendants face charges of malice murder, felony murder (with underlying charges of aggravated assault), false imprisonment, and criminal attempt to commit a felony.
[Mugshots via Glynn County; from top left, counter-clockwise: Travis McMichael, Gregory McMichael, William Bryan]
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