The family members of George Floyd, Botham Jean and Atatiana Jefferson are expected to attend the first day of the murder trial for the three men accused of killing Ahmaud Arbery, a 26-year-old Black man who was fatally shot while jogging through a Georgia neighborhood.
“I represent the family of George Floyd and the family of Botham Jean and Atatiana Jefferson, and so many families, Ronald Greene most recently, and they each plan to be here for opening day of trial,” Attorney Lee Merritt, who represents the Arbery family, said. “That community of folks have formed a bond and they plan to support each other through this process.”
The murder trial of William “Roddie” Bryan, Gregory McMichael and his son Travis McMichael is expected to begin on Thursday (Nov. 4), more than two weeks after jury selection began. The three men are all charged with malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, false imprisonment and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment. Arbery was followed and gunned down by the McMichaels and their neighbor Bryan, who reportedly blocked the 25-year-old in with his truck.
The men also face federal charges, including attempted kidnapping and one count of interference with rights, which is a hate crime. Additionally, the McMichaels were federally indicted for using a firearm during a crime of violence. A trial for their federal charges is set to begin next February.
Last week, Judge Walmsley ruled that protesters could remain outside the courthouse during the trial. Kevin Gough, the attorney who represents Bryan, filed a motion stating that the demonstrations make it difficult to guarantee that his client will receive a fair trial.