Jury begins deliberations in the trial of three men accused of killing Ahmaud Arbery


Prosecutor Linda Dunnikowski delivered her rebuttal early Tuesday, insisting the jury had committed no crime on Arbery and the defendants told police they knew he had committed no crime. He had about two hours left after he presented the first part of his closing arguments before the defense counsel.

Danikowski captured the defense’s notion that the McMichaels were terrified — and that their Glynn County, Georgia’s Satilla Shores neighborhood was living in fear — of crime in the area. The armed men decided to follow Arbery in their trucks for five minutes, evidence alone that they weren’t scared, she said.

Dunnikowski said he had options — including never chasing Arbery or calling the police — but instead chose to pursue Arbery, even though he repeatedly drove them off. They launched serious attacks with their trucks — and McMichaels, with their guns — while trying to falsely imprison Arbery, she said. During these felonies, Dunnikowski said, he killed Arbery.

“If you take him out, will he be alive?” he asked the jury. “It’s really simple. The answer is you can’t take out any of these crimes. If you take out one of these crimes they’ve committed and he’s still alive. All the underlying felony commits.” played an important and essential role in the death of Ahmed Arbery.”

claims they were protecting their neighborhood, Dunnikowski said, never accused Arbery of any crime when you consider the owner of the property — other than entering the property without incident — and Nothing was stolen there in the months before Arbery’s fatal shooting. , Danikowski also stated that the defendants could not claim self-defense when Arbery, unarmed and on foot, tried for five minutes to apprehend three men, two of them armed, chasing him in a pair of pickup trucks. .

He asked the jury: Why, if it was about preventing crime, did the McMichaels never mention a specific crime or the arrest of a citizen to the police?

Following Danikoski’s rebuttal, Judge Timothy Walmsley instructed the jurors and said, for Brian, he would allow them to consider simple assault, reckless conduct or reckless driving in lieu of aggravated assault with a truck. The jury, composed of nine white women, two white men and one black man (as an alternative to two white women and one white man), began deliberations shortly thereafter.

The jury deliberated for more than six hours on the first day. Walmsley examined the jurors twice to see if a decision was imminent, with the foreperson reporting that he had not returned one. Court adjourned at around 6:30 p.m. ET and the second day of deliberations will begin at 8 a.m. Wednesday

Judge rejects Mistrial’s proposal

Defense lawyers commented on Monday that legal experts felt racially insensitive, and Danikowski has insisted that the defendants targeted Arbery “because he was a black man running down the street.”

Travis McMichael testified that he never saw Arbery armed, never heard that Arbery threatened him and that Arbery showed no interest in negotiating with McMichael.

The men acted on “assumptions and driveway decisions,” Dunnikowski has said, and they had no immediate knowledge that Arbery committed a crime, a key factor in the citizen’s claim of arrest.

The defendants stepped in for Mistrial, saying Dunkiowski had falsified the state’s now-defunct citizen’s arrest law. Walmsley denied the proposal.

His neighbour, Travis McMichael, along with his father, Gregory McMichael and Brian, are charged with felony murder, felony aggravated assault, false imprisonment and, on February 23, 2020, criminal attempt to commit felony, murder. NS All three say they followed Arbery only after suspecting theft.
Travis McMichael testified that he shot Arbery Arbery grabbed his gun when in self-defense. He told Danikowski that he was “scattered” and was shocked when he initially told police that he didn’t know Arbery was holding the shotgun.

The men have pleaded not guilty. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of life in prison without parole.

Family opposes defense lawyer’s comments

on monday, hog claimed Arbery trespassed repeatedly — and probably more — when entering a construction site in a neighborhood outside Brunswick.

Hogg said, “Turning Ahmaud Arbery into a hunt after the choices he made doesn’t reflect the reality of bringing Ahmaud Arbery to Satilla Shores in his khaki shorts without socks to cover his long, messy toenails.” Is.”

Arbery’s mom, Wanda Cooper-Jones, almost went to court, saying, “I have to get out of here.”

Arbery was not charged with any crimes in the neighborhood. The property owner never said Arbery committed the crime, just that he was caught on camera on site.

Racing has been a major focus. Arbery is Black, and 11 of the 12 jury members are White. Ben Crump, Arbery’s father’s lawyer, suggested that race played a factor in the murder.

“They had dozens of other people who came home. Nobody followed them. Nobody said they broke into the house. Why is that?” Crump asked on Monday.

This was the key point for Dunnikowski’s rebuttal. Arbery went to the under-construction property several times, he said, but he never stole anything.

Responding to the defense implications Arbery may be responsible for items stolen from a boat in 2019, Dunnikowski told property owner Larry English that he had no idea who stole the items should the items be stolen at another location. and suspected that there might be subcontractors. be in charge of.

The video from December 2020, showing Arbery looking around and nothing more inside the house, also appears to provide a counter-argument to the argument that Arbery was never known to jog in Satilla Shores. In the video, Arbery walks out of the house empty-handed toward the road and breaks into a jogger, disappearing from view as he drives down Satilla Drive.

“What is Mr. Arbery doing? More importantly, what is Mr. Arbery not doing?” He asked the jury about the video.

If Arbery did commit a crime, Dunnikowski said, it was criminal trespass, or perhaps hunting or walking around, all misdemeanors — all misdemeanors that do not satisfy any of the conditions for a citizen’s arrest. The McMichaels told police they did not know whether Arbery was in the English home, he reminded the jurors.

“If (McMichaels and Brian) weren’t making a lawful citizen’s arrest, you don’t need to consider … self-defense because if it’s not a lawful citizen’s arrest — that they were previously unreasonable assailants and they were committing felonies. Were against Mr. Arbery, and so he doesn’t get to claim self-defense.”

During the jury’s instructions, Walmsley told jurors in the arrest of a civilian, the person making the arrest must have seen the crime with his or her senses or the offender must have admitted to the crime. It is not legal to arrest a citizen on the basis of “the unsupported statements of others” alone, and the person making the arrest—either after the crime, or in the case of a crime, while on the run—must immediately recover the arrest, according to the judge. he said.

Lawyer: The defendants are just protecting the neighborhood

“Travis McMichael spent nearly a decade of his life learning about duty and responsibility,” his lawyer, Jason Sheffield, said Monday, referring to McMichael’s time in the US Coast Guard. “He received extensive training on how to make decisions that would ultimately influence his beliefs.”

Danikowski countered that Travis McMichael had not followed his training and could not follow de-escalation techniques when he chased Arbery – his armed father cursing Arbery from his truck bed – and then shot him with a shotgun. Got out of the truck.

in closing, Sheffield echoed the sentiments of neighbors who testified that they feared incidents in the neighbourhood, including thefts. Travis McMichael felt “responsible” help protect the neighborhood, Sheffield said.

“These are real experiences with real people who were very scared, and so they took it upon themselves to do something about it – get cameras, call the police, notify each other, citizens watch, Neighborhood watch,” he said.

Hogg told the jury that they only needed to consider two questions.

“Whether Greg McMichael had reasonable and probable grounds of suspicion to believe that Ahmaud Arbery had committed the theft … and whether he had reasonable and probable grounds to believe that Ahmaud Arbery was escaping or re-escaping was trying?” he said.

Attorney Kevin Gough, representing Bryan, described his client as a witness, arguing that jurors should consider Brian who was filmed chase and murder, changing the course of investigation.

“He didn’t know and didn’t know that Arbery would be shot. Until that point, sadly, there was nothing Roddy Bryan could do to prevent this tragedy. He didn’t shoot anyone. At the time, that was some distance ago. He was only armed with his cell phone,” Gough said.

“Ladies and gentlemen, without Roddy Bryan, there is no matter,” he said.

In his closing, Danikowski emphasizes that everyone is responsible. Because all three men committed felonies before Travis McMichael shot Arbery, they are parties to the crime, she said.

“Under the law in Georgia, it’s as if they were all holding guns together,” she said.

CNN’s Alta Spell, Travis Caldwell, Angela Barajas, Martin Savage, Jade Gordon, Theresa Waldrop and Christina Maxouris contributed to this report.