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Prosecutors in Ahmaud Arbery case want racist texts and social media posts allowed at trial

The state wants the racist texts and Facebook posts to be admitted as evidence to prove motive.

Greg McMichael, Travis McMichael and William Bryan Glynn County Sheriff’s Office

Prosecutors believe that racist texts and social media posts from the three suspects accused of fatally shooting 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery should be admissible as evidence during the trial.

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the state wants to be able to use racist Facebook posts and texts messages from Gregory and Travis McMichael — the father and son who chased Arbery down before killing him back in February — in court. In 2019, Travis posted a “racial highway video Facebook post,” “a Racial Johnny Rebel Facebook post” and sent a racial text message. Greg posted an “Identity Dixie Facebook post” and “Racial Johnny Rebel Facebook post.”

The state also wants to use a text message from William Bryan — the white man who filmed the McMichaels shooting Arbery and was later arrested and charged with murder for his connection to the shooting. Back in July, lead prosecutor Jesse Evans said Bryan used the N-word multiple times in message threads that contained “a ton of filth.”

Bryan previously told investigators that he heard Travis say, “fucking N-word,” as he stood over Arbery while he was dying.

On February 23, Arbery was fatally shot while jogging through a Georgia neighborhood. The McMichaels were not arrested until months later. The father and son took their weapons and jumped into their truck to follow the Black jogger. Soon after, there was a struggle over the firearm and he was shot and killed. Bryan recorded the incident and was later found to be involved in his death.

The three men were each charged with nine counts: four counts of felony murder, false imprisonment, malice murder, two counts of aggravated assault and one count of criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment.

In July, Superior Court Judge Timothy Walmsley denied bond for Bryan. A few months ago, the McMichaels filed motions to have bond hearings. Walmsley has yet to schedule them. All three suspects have entered not guilty pleas.

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