Witnesses to testify today in Federal Hate Crimes Trial of Ahmuad Arbery

Witnesses are slated to testify today, Tuesday, Feb. 15  in the federal hate crimes trial against the three white men convicted of killing Ahmaud Arbery.

Father and son, Gregory and Travis McMichael, and their former neighbor William Bryan, have already been sentenced to life in state prison for Arbery’s murder.

Jury selection concluded on Monday, Feb. 14 for the three men convicted of killing Ahmaud Arbery.

Twelve jurors were selected on Monday from the remaining pool of 64 will ultimately decide if the three who have already been sentenced to life in prison killed Arbery in New Brunswick, Ga because he was Black.

The federal court proceedings come one month after the men were sentenced to life in prison on state murder charges.

Earlier this month US District Judge Lisa Goodbey Wood rejected a plea deal which would have allowed the man who shot and killed Arbery, Travis McMichael and his father Gregory McMicahel an accomplice in the murder to avoid trial in the federal charges and give them a choice of their “preferred federal prison” to serve out a 30-year sentence.

The Department of Justice charged the defendants in the hate crimes trial with violating Arbery’s rights, attempted kidnapping and the use of dangerous weapons because of his race. They pleaded not guilty to the charges last year, but changed their pleas to guilty to avoid a federal trial.

Because the plea deal was rejected, both McMichaels chose to instead plead not guilty and face trial alongside Bryan.

On February 23, 2020 Ahmaud Arbery was confronted by the  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.”

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