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Crime Ahmaud Arbery killing trial: Prosecutors to deliver final rebuttal before jury deliberates

11:50  23 november  2021
11:50  23 november  2021 Source:   cnn.com

Ahmaud Arbery killing trial: Attorneys to deliver closing arguments in case of jogger's shooting

  Ahmaud Arbery killing trial: Attorneys to deliver closing arguments in case of jogger's shooting Prosecutors and attorneys representing three men charged with killing Ahmaud Arbery as he jogged through their Glynn County, Georgia, neighborhood last year will deliver closing arguments Monday in the murder trial. © Stephen B. Morton/AP Hundreds of pastors rally during the trial of Greg McMichael and his son, Travis McMichael, and a neighbor, William "Roddie" Bryan outside the Glynn County Courthouse, Thursday, Nov. 18, 2021, in Brunswick, Ga. The three are charged with the February 2020 slaying of 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery. (AP Photo/Stephen B.

Prosecutors will begin court proceedings Tuesday in the trial over the killing of Ahmaud Arbery with a rebuttal to closing arguments made by the defense, which some legal experts felt were racially insensitive and led to Arbery's mother excusing herself from the courtroom.

Prosecutor Linda Dunikoski presents a closing argument to the jury on Monday in Brunswick, Georgia. © Stephen B. Morton/AP Prosecutor Linda Dunikoski presents a closing argument to the jury on Monday in Brunswick, Georgia.

Lead prosecutor Linda Dunikoski will commence with remarks Tuesday morning and is expected to drive the theme that the case against the defendants is about "assumptions and driveway decisions."

All three defendants made decisions to attack Arbery "because he was a Black man running down the street," Dunikoski said Monday.

Jury to deliberate verdict in Ahmaud Arbery's death. Here are key moments from the trial.

  Jury to deliberate verdict in Ahmaud Arbery's death. Here are key moments from the trial. The jury will now decide if Travis and Greg McMichael and William "Roddie" Bryan are guilty of murder and other crimes in the death of Ahmaud Arbery.How jurors decide on a verdict could ultimately hinge on how they view Travis McMichael, who fatally shot Arbery and was the only defendant to testify.

Travis McMichael, along with father Gregory McMichael and neighbor William "Roddie" Bryan Jr., face charges including malice murder and felony murder in the killing of Arbery on February 23, 2020. The trio pursued Arbery -- whom they suspected of burglary -- in their vehicles, and led to Travis McMichael fatally shooting Arbery.

The three also face charges of aggravated assault, false imprisonment and criminal attempt to commit a felony. All three have pleaded not guilty, with Travis McMichael arguing he shot Arbery in self-defense. If convicted, the men face sentences of up to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

After the state is done, Judge Timothy Walmsley will charge the jury with instructions and deliberations will begin.

Brunswick GA: For Black residents of Ahmaud Arbery's hometown, trust in the justice system is on trial right alongside his accused killers

  Brunswick GA: For Black residents of Ahmaud Arbery's hometown, trust in the justice system is on trial right alongside his accused killers Carrying signs that read "Justice for Ahmaud," the demonstrators marched past majestic live oaks draped with Spanish moss. They chanted Ahmaud Arbery's name as they wound through the streets, past a hardware store, several homes, a convenience store. They rounded the corner by the floral shop, calling for those watching from the sidewalk to join them. © Elijah Nouvelage for CNN Protesters march from the Glynn County Courthouse to the Brunswick African American Cultural Center. © Elijah Nouvelage for CNN A handwritten "I Run With Maud" sign is seen on the facade of an unoccupied building in Brunswick.

Family objects to comments from defense attorney

On Monday, Laura Hogue, an attorney for defendant Gregory McMichael, claimed in court that Arbery was a "recurring intruder" who repeatedly trespassed when entering an open construction site in the Satilla Shores neighborhood outside Brunswick, Georgia, where Arbery was shot and killed.

"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 said.

The autopsy report of Arbery noted the condition of his toenails. Arbery's mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, left the courtroom after Hogue's remark, saying "I gotta get out of here."

She told reporters on the steps of the courthouse after proceedings, "Regardless of what kind of toenails he had, what size legs he had, that was still my son, and my son actually was running for his life in that description. I thought that was just flat out just rude."

EXPLAINER: What the defense in Arbery's killing is arguing

  EXPLAINER: What the defense in Arbery's killing is arguing ATLANTA (AP) — Travis and Greg McMichael said they armed themselves and sped after Ahmaud Arbery because they thought he was a burglar, and they wanted to catch him and hold him until police arrived. When the 25-year-old Black man turned and fought during the chase, they said, Travis McMichael shot him in self-defense. That's what the defense maintains in the trial of three white men accused in the killing of Arbery, who was shot three times in February 2020 near Brunswick, on the Georgia coast. The McMichaels, a father and son, and neighbor William “Roddie” Bryan are charged with murder and other crimes.

Race has been a key focus during the trial, with Arbery being Black and the three defendants as well as 11 of the 12 jurors being White. Ben Crump, an attorney for Arbery's father, suggested race played a role in Arbery's death.

"They had dozens of other people who visited the home, nobody chased them, nobody said that they burglarized the home, why is that?" said Crump after court Monday, discussing the home under construction which the defendants believed Arbery had entered and robbed.

Cooper-Jones later told CNN's John Berman that the defense is just trying to deflect from the fact that they "don't have the proper evidence" to get a conviction.

"So they're actually going to any measure to get it, to get a conviction, which is not there for them," she said.

Defense appeals to jury through different arguments

Attorneys for each of the three defendants chose to present their own closing arguments on Monday.

"Travis McMichael spent almost a decade of his life learning about duty and responsibility," his attorney Jason Sheffield said, referring to McMichael's time in the US Coast Guard. "He received extensive training on how to make a decision that will ultimately impact his beliefs."

Trial takeaways: Arbery's killer testifies; pastors rally

  Trial takeaways: Arbery's killer testifies; pastors rally BRUNSWICK, Ga. (AP) — The man who fatally shot Ahmaud Arbery took the witness stand to tell jurors he pulled the trigger fearing for his own life. Meanwhile, hundreds of Black pastors rallied outside the Glynn County courthouse in coastal Georgia to show support for the slain 25-year-old Black man's family, compelled by a defense attorney's failed efforts to get prominent civil rights figures barred from the court. The trial of father and sonMeanwhile, hundreds of Black pastors rallied outside the Glynn County courthouse in coastal Georgia to show support for the slain 25-year-old Black man's family, compelled by a defense attorney's failed efforts to get prominent civil rights figures barred from the court.

Sheffield then reiterated the feelings of neighbors who testified that they were afraid because of incidents in the neighborhood, including burglaries. Sheffield argued that Travis McMichael felt a "responsibility" to help protect the neighborhood.

"These are real experiences with real people who were very scared. And so, they took it upon themselves to do something about it. Got cameras, called the police, notify each other, citizens watch, neighborhood watch," Sheffield said.

Hogue, on behalf of Gregory McMichael, told the jury they only needed to consider two questions when determining his guilt.

"Did Greg McMichael have reasonable and probable grounds of suspicion to believe that Ahmaud Arbery had committed a burglary ... and did he have reasonable and probable grounds to believe that Ahmaud Arbery was escaping or attempting to escape yet again?" she said.

Attorney Kevin Gough, who represents Bryan, described his client more as a witness than a defendant. Gough argued that considerations should be made for Bryan as he was the one who filmed the video that changed the course of the investigation.

"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 told the jury.

Closing arguments to begin Monday in trial over Ahmaud Arbery's killing: What to know

  Closing arguments to begin Monday in trial over Ahmaud Arbery's killing: What to know Closing arguments were set for Monday in the murder trial of three white men accused of murdering Ahmaud Arbery early last year.A panel of 12 jurors and three alternates, will hear from the prosecution and lawyers for each of the three defendants. After closings, the jurors are set to begin deliberations on a verdict.

"Ladies and gentlemen, without Roddie Bryan, there is no case," he said.

Gough had approached the state last week about a plea deal for his client before closing arguments started, according to Cooper-Jones and her attorney, Lee Merritt. Gough denied the report when asked on Friday.

Prosecutor grills defendants in first remarks

Dunikoski railed against the defendants during the prosecution's presentation Monday, saying they acted not because Arbery was a threat, but because "he wouldn't stop and talk to them."

The three defendants were going to make him stop, she said, adding "but for their actions, but for their decisions, but for their choices, Ahmaud Arbery would be alive."

"Three-on-one, two pickup trucks, two guns," highlighted the prosecutor, even though Arbery had nothing in his pockets, "not a cell phone, not a gun, not even ID."

Comparing the crimes charged to the efforts of a winning Super Bowl team, Dunikoski spent time explaining how the state viewed the defendants -- including Bryan -- as being party to all the charges.

"Everybody gets a Super Bowl ring, right? The quarterback gets a Super Bowl ring. The guys in the field get the Super Bowl ring. The dude on the bench gets a Super Bowl ring, right? Everybody is involved, everybody's responsible," she said.

"The amount of force has to be reasonable. Unarmed man running with hands at the sides. Never pulled out a weapon, never threatened anybody. This is completely excessive force," said the prosecutor.

Attorneys make closing arguments in Ahmaud Arbery murder trial .
Jury hears closing arguments in Ahmaud Arbery murder trial.Arbery was running in the predominantly white Satilla Shores neighborhood of Brunswick on Feb. 23, 2020, when he was pursued by Gregory McMichael, 65, a former police officer, and his son, Travis, 35. Their neighbor, William "Roddie" Bryan Jr., 52, helped them to corner Arbery, following him in a pickup as he ran down the road.

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This is interesting!