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Crime All 3 Defendants Found Guilty of Murdering Ahmaud Arbery, Black Jogger Chased Down and Shot in Georgia

21:40  24 november  2021
21:40  24 november  2021 Source:   people.com

Ahmaud Arbery Trial Judge Denies Defense Request to Remove Jesse Jackson From Court

  Ahmaud Arbery Trial Judge Denies Defense Request to Remove Jesse Jackson From Court "The court is not going to single out any particular individual or group of individuals as not being allowed into his courtroom," the judge said.Superior Court Judge Timothy Walmsley declined to have the Reverend Jesse Jackson removed, saying Jackson was not causing any disruption to the court.

a man wearing a suit and tie smiling at the camera: Ahmaud Arbery © Provided by People Ahmaud Arbery

All three men charged have been found guilty for the murder of Ahmaud Arbery, a Black jogger they believed to be a burglar running on a suburban Georgia street, who they pursued and cornered with their pickups before a physical confrontation in which one of the men fatally shot him.

a man wearing a suit and tie smiling at the camera: Ahmaud Arbery © Provided by People Ahmaud Arbery

Arbery, 25, was killed on Feb. 23, 2020, after being chased down the street on which he was jogging in Brunswick. Prosecutors alleged the white suspects — Greg McMichael, 67; his son Travis McMichael, 35; and neighbor William "Roddie" Bryan, 52 — chased and confronted Arbery with two firearms after they saw him running, and that Travis fatally shot Arbery during a struggle over Travis' shotgun.

'Life or death:' Travis McMichael tells Georgia jury he felt threatened by Ahmaud Arbery

  'Life or death:' Travis McMichael tells Georgia jury he felt threatened by Ahmaud Arbery 'Life or death:' Travis McMichael tells Georgia jury he felt threatened by Ahmaud Arbery(Reuters) -Travis McMichael testified at his murder trial on Wednesday that he shot Ahmaud Arbery because he thought the Black man was attacking him after McMichael and his two co-defendants chased Arbery through a mostly white Georgia neighborhood.

According to the defense, the three men believed Arbery matched the description of someone who reportedly had burglarized a home construction site in the neighborhood, and they were attempting a citizen's arrest when Travis, accompanied by his father, and Bryan chased Arbery and then corralled him with their respective Ford F-150 and Chevy Silverado pickups before the scuffle broke out.

RELATED: Accused Killers of Ahmaud Arbery Go on Trial in 2020 Shooting Death of Unarmed Black Georgia Jogger

Each faced nine criminal charges, according to the indictment. Travis McMichael, who pulled the trigger and shot Arbery three times, was convicted on all of them: one count of malice murder, which alleges intent to kill; four counts of felony murder, which alleges an action that causes a death; two counts of aggravated assault; one count of false imprisonment; and one count of criminal attempt to commit a felony.

Travis McMichael testifies Ahmaud Arbery did not threaten him

  Travis McMichael testifies Ahmaud Arbery did not threaten him The defense rested its case after the jury heard testimony from Travis McMichael, the man who fired the fatal shots.Travis McMichael, the man who fired the fatal shots, spent several hours on the stand Thursday testifying in his own defense and answering questions from prosecutors.

His father, Greg McMichael, was cleared of only the malice murder charge, and found guilty of the rest. Bryan was cleared of malice murder and one felony murder charge, as well as one of the aggravated assault charges. But the 12 jurors found him liable for all the other charges.

All three now face life in prison when sentenced.

a man wearing glasses and smiling at the camera: Glynn County Detention Center/AP/Shutterstock Travis McMichael, at left, and his father Greg McMichael in their booking photos © Provided by People Glynn County Detention Center/AP/Shutterstock Travis McMichael, at left, and his father Greg McMichael in their booking photos

"To tell you the truth, I never saw this day back in 2020," Arbery's mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, said after the verdicts, reports The New York Times. "I never thought this day would come, but God is good. Thank you -- thank you for those who marched, those who prayed."

Lead prosecutor Linda Dunikoski, in her closing argument Monday, said, "All three of these defendants made assumptions about what was going on that day. And they made their decision to attack Ahmaud Arbery in their driveways, because he was a Black man running down the street," according to the Times.

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.

RELATED: Ahmaud Arbery Was Chased for More Than 4 Minutes Before Being Shot and Killed, Says Attorney

But Jason Sheffield, a defense attorney for Travis, said his client believed at the time of the shooting that Arbery had committed burglary and Travis had "the right to perform a citizen's arrest," according to CNN.

"You do have the right to have a firearm when you make an arrest," Sheffield said. "You do have the right to stop a person and hold them and detain them. There is risk with that. There are tragic consequences that can come from that."

Stephen B. Morton-Pool/Getty Images William © Provided by People Stephen B. Morton-Pool/Getty Images William "Roddie" Bryan in court Nov. 19, 2021, in Brunswick, Ga.

Video footage of the incident filmed by Bryan captured the shooting, and sparked nationwide outrage and renewed interest in the case when it was made public more than two months after a local prosecutor initially declined to bring charges.

RELATED: Ahmaud Arbery's Sister Speaks Out About Late Brother's Killing: 'He's Supposed to Be Here'

The already closely watched trial garnered even more attention after Kyle Rittenhouse was cleared Friday of all charges for fatally shooting two men, and injuring a third, during civil unrest that grew out of Black Lives Matter protests in Kenosha, Wis., last year. Rittenhouse, 18, who was white, claimed self defense in the deaths of his victims, who also were white.

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.

But both trials fueled debate about vigilantism and gun rights, with prosecutors in the Rittenhouse case alleging that he responded to the scene only after answering a citizen militia's call on social media to protect Kenosha businesses from protesters.

RELATED: Kyle Rittenhouse Found Not Guilty of All Charges in Fatal Shooting of 2 Men at Black Lives Matter Protest

While race was not an overt issue in the Rittenhouse trial, it arose in Georgia during jury selection when the trial judge seated 11 white jurors — and only one Black one. It again took center stage during the trial when Kevin Gough, an attorney for Bryan, objected to "high-profile members of the African-American community" who were in attendance.

"We don't want any more Black pastors coming in here … sitting with the victim's family, trying to influence the jury in this case," he said, specifically citing the presence of the Rev. Al Sharpton as "intimidating," reports The Washington Post. Gough later apologized.

Stephen B. Morton-Pool/Getty Images Travis McMichael in court Nov. 22, 2021, in Brunswick, Ga. © Provided by People Stephen B. Morton-Pool/Getty Images Travis McMichael in court Nov. 22, 2021, in Brunswick, Ga.

Arbery's shooting had helped to propel a summer-long movement nationwide of protest, some of it turning violent, against racial injustice and police brutality that linked his name with several others.

Attorneys make closing arguments in Ahmaud Arbery murder trial

  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.

Three weeks after Arbery's death, Breonna Taylor, 26, a Black emergency room technician, was killed on March 13, 2020, in her Louisville, Ky., apartment by police who served a "no-knock" warrant and fatally shot her after Taylor's boyfriend, who feared for his life, fired his own permitted weapon at them as they entered. And images of George Floyd's murder on May 25, 2020, went viral after a bystander recorded video of a white Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, pressing his knee to the neck of the prone Black man for roughly nine minutes as Floyd suffocated while under arrest for a purchase with an allegedly counterfeit $20 bill.

Stephen B Morton/AP/Shutterstock On Nov. 22, 2021, demonstrators rallied outside the Glynn County Courthouse in Brunswick, Georgia, in support of Ahmaud Arbery. © Provided by People Stephen B Morton/AP/Shutterstock On Nov. 22, 2021, demonstrators rallied outside the Glynn County Courthouse in Brunswick, Georgia, in support of Ahmaud Arbery.

Yet an alleged effort by local authorities to diminish Arbery's killing began almost from the start, an attorney for his family told PEOPLE in 2020.

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Arbery's mother was falsely told that her son was killed by a homeowner while committing a burglary, according to the attorney, S. Lee Merritt.

A district attorney who viewed the video of the Black jogger chased by the armed Greg and Travis McMichael in their pickup then wrote that Arbery "initiated the fight," concluding, "Arbery's mental health records & prior convictions help explain his apparent aggressive nature and his possible thought pattern to attack an armed man."

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.

That same district attorney, George Barnhill, wrote in a separate analysis: "The family are not strangers to the local criminal justice system. From best we can tell, Ahmaud's older brother has gone to prison in the past. ... It also appears a cousin has been prosecuted ... ."

Another Georgia prosecutor, Jackie Johnson, the former district attorney of Glynn County, was indicted in September on accusations she obstructed police officers from arresting Travis and showed "favor" to Greg, who previously had worked in her office, according to an indictment against her. Johnson was the first of four prosecutors to be in charge of the case, which eventually landed with Dunikoski, a senior prosecutor from Cobb County.

Johnson is charged with violation of oath of public officer and obstruction of a law enforcement officer, and has entered a not guilty plea.

RELATED: Suspect Allegedly Yelled Racial Slur at Ahmaud Arbery After Fatal Shooting

Sean Rayford/Getty Images Greg McMichael in court Nov. 18, 2021, in Brunswick, Ga. © Provided by People Sean Rayford/Getty Images Greg McMichael in court Nov. 18, 2021, in Brunswick, Ga.

At the time of Arbery's shooting, a police report said that Greg, a former investigator in the local county prosecutor's office, had spotted Arbery at the construction site and believed him to be a burglar. Police say he alerted his son, and both grabbed firearms before giving chase in their pickup, followed by neighbor Bryan in his own pickup.

As Arbery attempted to outrun his pursuers, they blocked his escape route. The video then shows Arbery running toward Travis, who has gotten out of the truck, as the first shotgun blast is recorded.

Georgia Bureau of Investigations Special Agent Richard Dial testified during a preliminary hearing in June 2020 that Bryan told authorities Travis then referred to Arbery with a racial slur as he lay dying.

Arbery was shot three times and "died of multiple shotgun wounds sustained during a struggle for the shotgun," said an autopsy report obtained by PEOPLE. The report also revealed that Arbery sustained two close-range gunshot wounds in the chest, as well as a graze wound on his right wrist. The GBI review of Arbery's death — which was not requested until May 5, 2020, by District Attorney Tom Durden after two other district attorneys recused themselves from the case — listed Arbery's manner of death as homicide, and led to the arrests of the McMichaels two days later.

The three men now convicted of Arbery's death also still face federal hate crime charges in the case — specifically, one count each of interference with rights and one count each of attempted kidnapping, the U.S. Attorney's Office announced in a news release. Like the state prosecutors, the federal prosecutors allege that Bryan joined the McMichaels in chasing Arbery and using his truck to cut off Arbery's path.

Read the original article on People

White Vigilante Trio Guilty of Murdering Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia .
The white men accused of needlessly chasing and fatally shooting Ahmaud Arbery in cold blood in Georgia last February in what critics described as a modern-day lynching under the guise of vigilante law enforcement were found guilty of murder on Wednesday. Travis McMichael was found guilty of the most serious offense, malice murder, in the Feb. 23, 2020 homicide death of Arbery. Greg McMichael, his father, was found not guilty of malice murder but convicted of all other eight charges against him, including felony murder. William Roddie Bryan, a family neighbor, was fou , one count of felony murder, and one count of aggravated assault.

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