The closing arguments will begin on Monday in the trial of the three Whites accused of killing Ahmed Arberry – and this is explosive evidence that the jury has not heard.
Travis McMichael, 35, his father, Greg McMichael, 65, and his neighbor William “Roddy” Bryan, 52, are charged with murder, aggravated assault and false imprisonment for a Feb. 23, 2020, fatal shooting in Arbury outside J Brunswick.
Judge Timonti Walmsley blocked harmful information about defendants and the victim – calling some items too inflammatory and prejudicial.
After Travis McMichael shot the blackened Arberry twice in the torso, Bryan told investigators that when he took his last breath, the 25-year-old blurted out “F — ing n——”.
Travis MCMichael admits that Arberry never made any threats before MCMichael lifted his gun
Prosecutor Linda Dudyowski last week urged a Glynn County Superior Court judge to allow Travis McMichael to cross over the alleged racial abuse – but he ruled against her.
Defense attorney Jason Sheffield has denied that Travis McMichael used slander.
Walmsley fired a prosecution attempt to introduce alleged racist comments made by men on social media and text messages – including using the N-word from Brian, court papers show.
Djudovsky argues that there is a racist “animus” behind the assassination. The defense claimed that the thieves, who may have a weapon, were suspected of being Arberry and trying to arrest them until police arrived.
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Travis McMichael testified that he acted in self-defense, assaulted the unarmed Arberry and shot himself after he was shot for his shotgun.
McMichaels spotted Arberry, who was spotted on five occasions in a surveillance video inside his neighbor’s construction home. There is no evidence that he stole anything.
In a big blow to the defense, Walmsley ruled that he could not accept any evidence of Arberry’s distressed past – including brushes with the legal and mental heath history.
McMichaels’ lawyers argued in court papers that Arberry’s criminal record, which stretches back to 2013, shows that he “used to run or jogging as a cover for crimes” and that he had a pattern of fleeing when confronted or aggressively challenged.
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In at least two police encounters, newspapers say Arberry has cursed and threatened officers.
When Arberry was killed, he was on probation for two offenses. He was carrying a handgun on school property in 2013 and escaped from police when confronted. Six years later, newspapers say he tried to steal television.
Robert Rubin, one of the attorneys representing Travis McMichael, called Arbori a “jogger” for rushing to convenience stores, allegedly running out of food.
In June 2018, her mother Wanda Cooper-Jones called 911 after she refused to hand over her car keys. Rubin wrote that he had warned the operator that his son had a mental condition and could become violent if the police collided.
Arberry’s mental health was said to be spiraling, and according to the filing, he was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder later that year.
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The judge ruled that Arberry’s past was irrelevant because the accused did not know about it when he pursued him.
On the day he was killed, Greg McMichael spotted Arberry on Sunday afternoon “pulling an A-” at his house, called his son, and the couple grabbed their guns and jumped into the truck. Brian soon joined Chase in his own pickup.
Travis McMichael testified last week that he tried to talk to Arberry, who was identified by surveillance footage – but the young man kept running.
DeWitowski told the jury that the men followed Arberry for five minutes as Greg McMichael threatened, “Stop or I’ll blow your king’s head!” The men then used their trucks to trap him, he said.
After Travis McMichael fired his shotgun, Arberry rushed towards him. Travis McMichael had two quarrels over the weapon before smashing three shots. Brian filmed part of the encounter on his cellphone.
Prosecutors said Arberry was an avid jogger and lived just two miles from where he was killed.