Defense attorneys representing Travis McMichael, Gregory McMichael and William “Roddie” Bryan Jr. are set to begin their arguments today (Nov. 17) after prosecutors rested their case against the three men on Tuesday (Nov. 16). Investigators and experts previously gave their testimonies in the case of 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery’s death, including a medical examiner who testified on Tuesday.
Last week, defense attorney Jason Sheffield said he would call 30 witnesses to the stand to give their testimonies, which will continue until early next week. Lawyers representing the McMichaels and Bryan claim the three men acted in self-defense and say they believed Arbery committed a crime, prompting them to pursue the jogger in their cars and gun him down.
However, as reported by REVOLT, a Glynn County police sergeant testified last week that Gregory admitted to not knowing whether or not Arbery had done anything illegal. After Travis fired the fatal shots at Arbery, Sgt. Roderic Nohilly asked the older McMichael, “Did this guy break into a house today?”
“Well that’s just it. I don’t know,” Gregory replied, according to the police transcript.
The three men’s trial most recently made headlines after one of their attorneys asked that no more “Black pastors” be allowed to sit with Arbery’s parents in the courtroom. However, Superior Court Judge Timothy Walmsley denied the request on Monday (Nov. 15) while Rev. Jesse Jackson was attending the trial.
As reported by REVOLT, all three men are charged with malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, false imprisonment and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment for Arbery’s death. They also face separate federal charges, including attempted kidnapping and one count of interference with rights, which is a hate crime.
The McMichaels were also federally indicted for using a firearm during a crime of violence. The trial for the three men’s federal charges is scheduled to begin next February.