New Brunswick Tribune

The prosecution has rested in the trial of Ahmaud Arbery’s murder

Key sentence:

  • The prosecution rested its case against the three white men charged with killing Ahmaud Arbery on Tuesday.
  • McMichael also claimed that he threatened to shoot Arbery’s head off if he did not stop during the chase.

After presenting evidence that proved the defendants incorrectly assumed the worst about a Black man running in a largely white southern Georgia neighbourhood, the prosecution rested its case against the three white men charged with killing Ahmaud Arbery on Tuesday.

Prosecutors from the Cobb County district attorney’s office repeatedly aired a smartphone video taken by one of the defendants, showing another defendant, Travis McMichael, firing a shotgun three times at Arbery, 25, at close range, over eight days.

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After Arbery sprinted past their driveway on the afternoon of Feb. 23, 2020, McMichael, 35, and his 65-year-old father, Gregory McMichael, told detectives they grabbed their pistols and jumped in their pickup vehicle, fearing he could be the same Black man spotted strolling around a neighbouring construction site.

After the chase passed by his driveway, Bryan, 52, climbed into his pickup truck. He then admitted to police that he tried to block Arbery’s way down a road in Satilla Shores, a leafy residential neighbourhood outside of Brunswick’s small coastal city, with the truck, before filming Arbery’s dying moments.

Defence lawyers, who will present their evidence to the jury in the coming days, argue that Arbery’s pursuit was permissible under Georgia’s 19th-century citizen’s arrest legislation, which was repealed after public outrage over the killing.

Arbery ran at the younger McMichael at the end of the chase, reaching for the gun, and McMichael fired in self-defence, according to defence counsel.

Prosecution rests in trial over Ahmaud Arbery;s killing

The suspicion that is “reasonable and likely.”

Prosecutors argued that the defendants were attempting a legal citizen’s arrest, which requires “reasonable and probable” suspicion that someone was fleeing a severe felony they had committed.

Multiple security-camera images of Arbery wandering around a half-built house on an uninhabited, unfenced property near the McMichaels’ house were shown to the jury.

They also displayed a video of a police officer telling the McMichaels that no one knew who the young Black man strolling around the property was, but that nothing was ever taken on the days he was spotted there, according to police body-worn camera footage.

They also had the defendants’ statements to detectives read aloud in court, in which they claimed they had not seen Arbery until he rushed past their driveways and had no idea what he was up to.

McMichael also claimed that he threatened to shoot Arbery’s head off if he did not stop during the chase.

The trial began on Oct. 18 in Glynn County Superior Court after nearly three weeks of jury selection, which prosecutors claimed resulted in an overwhelmingly white jury.

All but one Black member was struck from the jury panel, which was picked from a county where nearly a quarter of the population is Black, but defence counsel claimed the exclusions were made for reasons unrelated to race.

Prosecutors brought more than a dozen witnesses; most of them were county police officers or state investigators who read aloud from transcripts of their interviews with the defendants.

A few hours after Arbery’s death, the elder McMichael informed a Glynn County detective, “He was caught like a rat.” “I suppose he was trying to leave and realised he wasn’t going to be able to get away.”

The jury was also shown gruesome videos and photos of Arbery’s two gaping shotgun wounds in the chest.

Source: CBC News

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