Unlike Kyle Rittenhouse, Travis McMichael ‘didn’t come across as credible,’ experts say

Travis McMichael sealed his fate when he bought the . took a stand in his defense in a murder trial relating to the death of Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old black man who was chased and killed by three white men in what prosecutors called “modern-day lynchings,” legal experts said.

An almost all-white jury found McMichael guilty of felony manslaughter, felony manslaughter, felony assault, false imprisonment, and criminal attempt to commit felony. His father, Gregory McMichael, and his neighbor, William “Roddy” Bryan, were acquitted of the top charge and convicted of felony charges, among others.

The defendants had argued self-defense, as well as acting within their rights under Georgia’s civil arrest law, which was legal at the time but changed after the shooting.

Once the self-defense claim was made, the burden fell on prosecutors to dismiss the defense’s argument beyond a reasonable doubt.

but Travis McMichael “Didn’t come across as really credible,” criminal defense attorney Bernarda Villalona said on NBC News.

“From Travis McMichael’s own mouth, he knew that Ahmaud Arbery was not armed; he knew that Ahmed Arbery didn’t threaten him; he knew that there was nothing in Ahmed Arbery’s pants,” she said. “The only danger here was two pickup trucks chasing an unarmed African American male.”

Wednesday’s ruling comes just five days after the acquittal of Kyle Rittenhouse, who was accused of shooting three people during protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last year.

Rittenhouse’s defense attorneys argued that his client was who is facing danger After being bullied by a skateboard and followed in the street during his encounters with men.

He argued and Rittenhouse’s own testimony, as well as a grainy video played in the courtroom showing chaos in the streets, appeared to support his claim of self-defense.

This was not the case during Arbery’s murder trial.

“Travis McMichael was a terrible witness,” said former federal prosecutor Glen Kirshner, legal analyst for NBC News and MSNBC. “Rarely have I seen a defendant who has been put on the stand by his defense team performs so poorly in fact.”

Last Week on the Stand, Travis McMichael shared your version What happened on February 23, 2020, when the McMichaels and Brian followed Arbery in their trucks when they saw him in their neighborhood outside of Brunswick, Georgia.

Travis McMichael shoots Arbery from close range with a shotgun. Brian filmed the fatal encounter on his cellphone, Video evidence appeared to support prosecutors’ statement that it was Arbery, not the defendant, who was running for his life and then fought back in his final moments.

“While we can celebrate that justice was served here, if there hadn’t been a video, these people would probably have gotten away with it,” said former federal prosecutor Cynthia Alxane, MSNBC’s legal analyst. “I don’t think we would have believed it without this video.”

Travis McMichael said that on the day of the shooting, he was trying to make his young son take a nap when his father came into the house “almost in a manic state” and said that the man they believed was responsible for crimes in the neighborhood. Was. Had just run.

Travis McMichael said he grabbed his shotgun and turned to the driver of his truck. Gregory McMichael was in the passenger seat. The two men drove in the direction they believed Arbery had fled and was eventually caught up with.

“If you’re the first attacker, you have a really tough fight convincing a jury that you have the right to take the life of another,” Kirschner said. “Travis McMichael was the first attacker, the third attacker, the fourth assailant, and eventually, these three men declared themselves to be the judge, jury, and executioner of a young man who was doing nothing but running through a part of town, Which obviously angered the McMichaels. And Mr. Brian.”

Travis McMichael’s testimony was a “train wreck” for him, Kirshner said. “He should have been convicted.”