Ahmaud Arbery murder trial: Jury dismissed for night, deliberations continue Wednesday morning
GLYNN COUNTY, Ga. - After prosecutors made their final statements, the jury has begun deliberations in the trial of three men charged with killing Ahmaud Arbery. The jury asked the judge to go a little late into the evening, but a little before 6:30 p.m. was dismissed for the night.
The jury is expected to be back at it Wednesday morning starting around 8:30 a.m.
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Prosecutors spent much of Tuesday morning making their last case to jurors as hours of closing arguments by attorneys spilled into a second day. The prosecution gets the final word in the trial because it carries the burden of proving its case beyond a reasonable doubt.
Superior Court Judge Timothy Walmsley then must give instructions on how to apply the law before the jury can begin deliberations at the Glynn County courthouse in the port city of Brunswick.
Prosecutors argued Gregory McMichael, Travis McMichael, and William "Roddie" Bryan chased Arbery down solely because he was a Black man running down the street.
In her closing statements, lead prosecutor Linda Dunikoski reiterated that Arbery was out for a jog when he was cornered, shot, and killed back in February of 2020.
Defense attorneys argued Arbery is to blame for his death, with Travis McMichael's attorney standing firm saying his client acted out of self-defense and was forced to make a life-or-death decision.
What's known about Ahmaud Arbery's death
A police report from the Glynn County Police Department says a man and his son, frustrated by a string of burglaries and break-ins in their neighborhood, decided to take matters in their own hands.
The men saw Arbery running through the Satilla Shores subdivision and considered him suspicious, a report says. They armed themselves and pursued him. Gregory McMichael, who it was later discovered has ties to the Glynn County District Attorney's Office, told police that Arbery and Travis fought over his son’s shotgun and his son fired two shots, killing Arbery.
Information that unfolded after the incident revealed Arbery was unarmed.
It was later discovered a man named William "Roddie" Bryan allegedly joined the chase and eventually cut off Arbery's route in a vehicle before he was shot and killed.
No one was arrested or charged for months after the shooting occurred.
Defendants: Gregory and Travis McMichael, William "Roddie" Bryan
Greg McMichael is a retired investigator for former Brunswick District Attorney Jackie Johnson. He retired in 2019. Phone records introduced in court show he called Johnson and left her a voicemail after the shooting. Johnson said she recused her office from the case immediately because of its relationship with Greg McMichael.
The McMichaels’ attorneys' offered the explanation that their clients pursued Arbery because they suspected he was a burglar.
Security cameras had previously recorded Arbery entering a home under construction.
Attorneys for Travis McMichael shot Arbery while fearing for his life as they grappled over a shotgun.
Greg and Travis McMichael were arrested in May 2020, several months after the shooting took place after a GBI investigation concluded there was evidence for charges against them.
William "Roddie" Bryan followed the chase and recorded a video of Travis McMichael shooting Arbery. Bryan was arrested weeks after the McMichaels.
What are the charges?
Jurors must decide whether one or all of the defendants is guilty of murder.
All three defendants were indicted with one count of malice murder, four counts of felony murder, two counts of aggravated assault, one count of false imprisonment and one count of criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment.
A murder conviction carries a life-in-prison sentence.
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The Associated Press contributed to this story.