Michaels’ Trial begins final arguments in Murder of Ahmaud Arbery
Was Arbery Running or Jogging?
Closing arguments began Monday in the murder trial of three white men accused in the fatal shooting of Ahmaud Arbery, an unarmed 24-rearold Black man jogging in a Brunswick, Georgia who was Black in February 2020.
Defense attorney, for admitted killer Jason Sheffield appeared frustrated as he argued for the admission of his personal notes that he contends were admissible “because I wrote them in front of the jury. They saw me write them,” Sheffield explained prior to a heated exchange with prosecutors.
Defense attorney Sheffield told the jury McMichaels’was shaken by the threat of Arbery after Arbery refused to stop and come to McMichel’s truck or even answer why he was in the neighborhood
Travis McMichels and his defense team maintain that he was enacting a citizen’s arrest. Sheffield referenced his handwritten notes through his closing statement, citing his client was [sic] confused, concerned and traumatized.
McMicheals, a former US Coast Guard that maintains that he followed his military training while patrolling the white neighborhood which ultimately resulted in shooting the unarmed Arbery twice and up close with a shotgun.
On February 23, 2020 Ahmaud Arbery was confronted by an ad hoc group of vigilantes while jogging on a public street in the Satilla Shores neighborhood of Brunswick, Georgia. Travis and Gregory McMichael armed themselves with firearms and went hunting for suspicious characters in the mostly white community.
Riding in a car with a shotgun, the two men approached Arbery, who was jogging at the time. The defendant claims that Arbery attempted to run back in the other direction, only to find that McMichael’s friend, William “Roddy” Bryan, had positioned his car at the other end of the road. With the two cars positioned at opposite ends of the street, the police investigator claims McMichael told him that Arbery was “trapped like a rat.”
The prosecution rested its case earlier today with won prosecutor saying Ahmaud Arbery was “under attack” when three white men saw him running in a small, coastal neighborhood and hopped in pickup trucks to pursue him.
“They made their decision to attack Ahmaud Arbery in their driveways because he was a Black man running down the street,” prosecutor Linda Dunikoski said.
Travis McMichaels’ father’s defense attorney, Laura Hogue accused the prosecution and supporters of creating a picture of Arbery as a victim adding that he clearly had no business in the white enclave. “Turning Ahmaud Arbery into a victim after the choices that he made does not reflect the reality of what brought Ahmaud Arbery to Satilla Shores in his khaki shorts with no socks to cover his long, dirty toenails,” Hogue told jurors.
Defense attorney Kevin Gough said in his client’s defense that William “Roddie” Bryan did not know that the McMichaels were armed “until moments before Mr. Arbery’s tragic death.” Bryan drove the second truck which joined the McMicahels’ deadly patrol and videotaped the incident.
“He did not know and could not know, that Arbery would be shot. By that time sadly, there was nothing that Roddie Bryan could do to prevent this tragedy. He didn’t shoot anyone. At the time of the shooting, he was some distance back, he was armed only with his cellphone,” Gough said.
Gough filed a second request for a mistrial after learning protestors, some armed, were gathering outside of the Glynn County courthouse. The attorney earlier asked that Black pastors be barred from the proceedings and attempted to seek a plea deal for his client as the case came to a close. Both actions were rejected by both the judge and the prosecution.