Man who fatally shot Ahmaud Arbery convicted of murder

By RUSS BYNUM

BRUNSWICK, Ga. (AP) – All three men charged with the death of Ahmaud Arbery were convicted of murder on Wednesday.

The jury reached its decision after more than 10 hours of deliberation following a lawsuit in which prosecutors claimed the defendants provoked a confrontation with Arbery, and defense attorneys said their clients acted in self-defense.

Father and son Greg and Travis McMichael grabbed weapons and jumped in a pickup truck to pursue the 25-year-old black man after seeing him run in their neighborhood outside the port city of Brunswick, Georgia in February 2020. Their neighbor William “Roddie” Bryan attended in the pursuit of his own pickup and recorded cell phone video of Travis McMichael fatally shooting Arbery.

Arbery’s killings became part of a larger national calculation of racial injustice after the graphic video leaked online two months later. Although prosecutors did not claim racism motivated the killing, federal authorities have charged all three men with hate crimes, claiming they hunted and killed Arbery because he was black. All three defendants are white. They are scheduled for court in February.

The men were charged with murder, aggravated assault, false imprisonment and attempted false imprisonment.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. The AP’s past history follows below.

BRUNSWICK, Ga. (AP) – The jury’s hearings resumed for another day Wednesday in the trial of the three white men accused of chasing and killing Ahmaud Arbery, where jurors reviewed the mobile phone video of the 25-year-old black man who was blown up. a shotgun on a residential road in coastal Georgia.

The jury sent a note to Supreme Court Justice Timothy Walmsley shortly after he returned to court Wednesday morning asking to see two versions of the recording video – the original and one that investigators improved to reduce shadows – three times each.

The jury returned to the courtroom to watch the videos and listen again to the 911 call that one of the defendants made from the bed of a pickup truck about 30 seconds before the shooting.

The disproportionately white jury weighs charges of murder and other crimes against father and son Greg and Travis McMichael and their neighbor William “Roddie” Bryan. It received the case around noon on Tuesday and spent about six hours pondering before sentencing without sentencing.

McMichaels told police they suspected Arbery was a fugitive burglar when they armed themselves and jumped into a pickup truck to chase him on February 23, 2020. Bryan participated in the pursuit as they passed his house and recorded cell phone video of Travis McMichael, who blew up Arbery at 6 p.m. close with a shotgun as Arbery threw blows and grabbed the weapon.

On the 911 call, which the jury reviewed, Greg McMichael tells an operator, “I’m out here in Satilla Shores. A black man is running down the street.”

Then he starts yelling, apparently as Arbery runs towards McMichael’s idle truck with Bryan’s truck heading up behind him: “Stop right there! Damn, stop! Travis!” Gunshots can be heard a few seconds later.

Arbery’s killings became part of a larger national inventory of racial injustice after the graphic video of his death leaked online two months later, and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation took over the case and quickly arrested the three men. Each of them is charged with murder and other crimes.

Defense attorneys allege that McMichaels attempted to arrest a lawful citizen as they left for Arbery, in an attempt to detain and interrogate him as a suspected burglar after he was seen running from a nearby home under construction.

Travis McMichael testified that he shot Arbery in self-defense, saying the running man turned and attacked with his fists as he ran past the idle truck where Travis McMichael was standing with his shotgun.

Prosecutors said there was no evidence that Arbery had committed crimes in the defendants’ neighborhoods. He was enrolled in a technical school and was preparing at the time to study to be an electrician just like his uncles.

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