Ahmaud Arbery trial: State of Georgia rests its case

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Georgia prosecutors rested their case Tuesday after eight days of testimony in the trial of three White men accused of the murder of Ahmaud Arbery.

Greg McMichael, 67, his son Travis McMichael, 35, and their neighbor William “Roddie” Bryan, 52, are charged with murder, aggravated assault, and false imprisonment for which they face up to life in prison.


This combination of booking photos provided by the Glynn County, Ga., Detention Center, shows, from left, Travis McMichael, his father, Gregory McMichael, and William "Roddie" Bryan Jr. (Glynn County Detention Center via AP, File)
(Glynn County Detention Center via AP, File)

The defendants will inform the judge Wednesday whether they plan to testify in their own defense or present evidence to the panel – that includes only one Black juror.

The tragic case unfolded Feb. 23, 2020, after Greg McMichael spotted Arbery “hauling a-s” on a Sunday afternoon by his house in Satilla Shores outside of Brunswick and suspected he was a burglar.

 In this 2012 file photo provided by Yolanda Richardson, of FuzzyRabbit Fotos, Ahmaud Arbery poses for a senior photo on St. Andrews Beach, Jekyll Island, Ga. (Yolanda Richardson/FuzzyRabbit Fotos via AP, File)

He and his son grabbed guns, hopped in their white pickup, and pursued Arbery, a 25-year-old unarmed Black man, for more than four minutes.  Bryan joined the chase in his own truck and took cellphone footage that captured part of the deadly encounter.

After the men “trapped him like rat” with their vehicles, Arbery attacked Travis McMichael and lunged for his shotgun, Greg McMichael later told investigators. Travis McMichael blasted Arbery twice in the torso during the struggle over the weapon.

Arbery had been captured on surveillance video entering a nearby home that was under construction on five occasions – including minutes before he was shot. There is no evidence he ever took anything from the property.  

Ahmaud Arbery

Prosecutors called Arbery an “avid jogger” who gave the men no reason to suspect him of wrongdoing that day. He lived 1.8 miles from where he was killed.  

The defense has argued that the McMichaels’ suspected that Arbery was the man behind a rash of thefts in the neighborhood and were trying to detain him until police arrived. Travis McMichael was forced to shoot him in self-defense.

The killing received little attention until the release of Bryan’s video, which sparked national outrage.

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