Lawyers for the suspects accused of murdering Ahmaud Arbery has submitted a request to bar the court from referring to the deceased as a “victim.”
According to a report TMZ published on Saturday (Jan. 2), defense attorneys Robert Rubin and Jason Sheffield, who represent suspects Travis and Greg McMichael, have filed new motions that would bar the prosecution from ever referring to Arbery as a “victim” in front of the jury. They claim that calling Arbery a “victim” is a conclusion that can’t be reached before a verdict is made. They also assert that loaded words like “victim” could pin jurors against their clients at the start of the trial.
Father and son Greg and Travis McMichael were arrested after a video surfaced of both men chasing down and fatally shooting Arbery while he was jogging. The video clearly shows Travis McMichael engaged in a physical altercation with Arbery before McMichael shot him with his shotgun. Greg McMichael was in the back of their pick-up truck and reportedly did nothing to stop the altercation. All three men, including the man who recorded the murder, have pleaded not guilty.
Not only do the McMichaels’ defense attorneys not want Arbery to be referred to as a “victim,” but they also want one photo of the deceased by himself to be used in the trial and they want to bar family members from making any ID’s in the courtroom. They also want all BLM masks to be forbidden from the courtroom and all jail calls the suspects have made since their arrest to be stricken from their list of usable evidence.
While the McMichaels’ lawyers aim to make their clients’ cases as uncontaminated as possible, Rubin and Sheffield want Arbery’s criminal past to be included as evidence. As of now, no trial date has been set and no judge has reviewed any of their requests.