Georgia bases its case against the 3 men accused of murdering Ahmaud Arbery: NPR

Prosecutor Linda Dunikoski shares evidence at the Glynn County Courthouse on Monday. Prosecutors filed their case during the first week of testimony in the trial.

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Prosecutor Linda Dunikoski shares evidence at the Glynn County Courthouse on Monday. Prosecutors filed their case during the first week of testimony in the trial.

Sean Rayford / AP

The state of Georgia has built its murder case against three white men: Greg McMichael, Travis McMichael and William “Roddie” Bryan, for the murder of Ahmaud Arbery on February 23, 2020.

The McMichaels and Bryan family are accused of murder, aggravated assault and false imprisonment for chasing Arbery down a residential street in their trucks and shooting him three times with a shotgun.

Self-defense or vigilance?

Over the course of five days of testimony, witnesses for the prosecution, using the defendants’ own words from transcripts of police interrogations and 911 calls, explained the extraordinary steps the three men took to protect their neighborhood from someone they considered an intruder. .

According to witnesses, Greg McMichael told authorities that when he saw a black man “dragging ass” down his street, he got his adult son, Travis, the couple armed and went in search of Arbery.

The defense has claimed that the three men suspected Arbery of burglary after reports of theft in the neighborhood, and they acted in self-defense when Arbery fought back during a citizen’s arrest.

Glynn County Police Department investigator Parker Marcy is being questioned by prosecutor Linda Dunikoski about her investigation.

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Glynn County Police Department investigator Parker Marcy is being questioned by prosecutor Linda Dunikoski about her investigation.

Stephen B. Morton / AP

The officers cite the defendants’ interrogations with the police

Along with graphic video recorded by police body cameras and Bryan’s cell phone, state prosecutor Linda Dunikoski centered her case on testimony from law enforcement, including Glynn County detective Parker Marcy, who had interviewed Greg McMichael after the shooting. At the booth, Marcy quoted Greg McMichael’s account of moments before his son shot Arbery.

“He says, ‘I said stop, you know I want to blow yours.’ [expletive] head off or something. I was trying to convey to this guy that we were not playing, you know, “Marcy was quoted as saying.

Glynn County Sgt. Roderic Nohilly also testified about what Greg McMichael said about Arbery at police headquarters the day after the shooting, quoting McMichael as saying “” he [Arbery] was trapped like a rat, I think he would flee, and he realized something that he would not escape. ‘ ”

At cross-examination, Greg McMichael’s attorney, Frank Hogue, read what his client told Nohilly about the fight between his son Travis and Ahmaud Arbery.

“His intention was to grab that shotgun and probably shoot Travis, that’s in my mind.” That’s his word, right? “Hogue asked.

“Yes,” Nohilly replied.

Stephan Lowrey, a Glynn County criminal investigator at the time, spent hours at the booth Wednesday, testifying that defendant Bryan told police he was chasing his pickup truck, forcing Arbery into a ditch and then angling his truck toward him at least . three times more.

Lowrey quoted Bryan as saying, “I walked past him a little bit [Arbery], because I did not beat him, wish I had; could have taken him out and not gotten him shot. ”

Neighbors from Satilla Shore’s Witnesses

The jury also heard footage of three 911 calls made by Greg and Travis McMichael about strangers in the neighborhood, and heard testimony from neighbor Matthew Albenze, who first reported to police about Arbery walking around a suburb in the neighborhood the day he was killed , but called a non-emergency number instead of 911 because Albenze “did not see an emergency.”

The owner of the construction site, Larry English, testified long on Thursday in a pre-recorded episode played for jurors along with surveillance camera footage from the property and several 911 calls in which English reported intrusion on camera.

Prosecutors are showing home surveillance camera footage of Ahmaud Arbery entering a house under construction during the trial.

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Prosecutors are showing home surveillance camera footage of Ahmaud Arbery entering a house under construction during the trial.

Stephen B. Morton / AP

“Have you at any time given McMichael’s permission to ever confront anyone on your site?” asked prosecutor Paul Camarillo.

“No,” replied English.

“Or act on behalf of the police on your side?” Camarillo followed.

“No” confirmed English.

Officer Robert Rash testified about previous calls to the property

Glynn County Police Officer Robert Rash testified that he was in direct contact with English, who sent the officer some of the surveillance video. Body camera footage played in court shows Rash responding to a previous 911 call to the property when Travis McMichael reported seeing a black man on the property at night.

Rash standing near McMichaels and with English on speakerphone, wondering out loud if it’s the same man caught on camera before, a “black man” with “some kind of twisted hair, he’s lighter in skin and he has tattoos on his sleeves. ”

In the video, Rash tells McMichaels that “every time in the video that Mr. English sent me, it has always just been in there and looted around, he has actually not seen him take anything.

“It’s criminal intrusion,” Greg McMichael replies in the video.

“Yes, yes, at least,” replies Rash. He then brings a reported gun theft down the street a few weeks earlier, “but we got the car on video … they were from another neighborhood.”

Dunikoski followed up with a rash on the stand. “Was it your intention to replace Greg McMichael or Travis McMichael?” she asks.

“Never,” states Rash.

“What did you want them to be?” Dunikoski counts.

“Witnesses,” replies Rash.

During the cross-examination, the defense has portrayed a neighborhood on the verge of burglary, saying that Arbery fits the description of a black man seen on surveillance video inside Satilla Shore’s construction site.

What’s next in the trial?

Testimony is expected to last at least another week as the almost entirely white jury continues to weigh whether the defendants had reason to prosecute Arbery and whether Travis McMichael acted in self-defense when Arbery fought back.

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