Closing arguments began on Monday (Nov. 22) in the trial of Gregory McMichael, Travis McMichael and William “Roddie” Bryan Jr. — the three men charged with murdering Ahmaud Arbery. Speaking for the prosecution, Cobb County attorney Linda Dunikoski argued that Arbery was ultimately shot and killed last February because he was “a Black man running down the street.”
“But for [the defendants’] actions, but for their decisions, but for their assumptions, Ahmaud Arbery would be alive,” she said.
Dunikoski also called attention to the discrepancies between Travis McMichael’s testimony and what he told police after fatally shooting Arbery. Last week, defense attorneys argued that the younger McMichael was acting in “self-defense” when he killed Arbery.
However, on Monday, Dunikoski pointed out that Travis couldn’t have been acting in self-defense when he was the one who attacked Arbery in the first place.
“Simply put ladies and gentlemen, if you determine that this was not a citizen’s arrest — this was not legitimate, he had no probable cause, you can’t do this based on the law — then guess what? They’re not justified in killing him. They’re not justified in any of the felonies they committed against him,” Dunikoski said.
The prosecutor wrapped up her argument by asking jurors to use their “common sense” in deciding whether or not to convict the three men.
Travis, Gregory and Bryan are facing with a nine-count state indictment — including felony murder, false imprisonment and aggravated assault charges — for which they’ve pleaded not guilty. All three men were also indicted on federal hate crime and other charges earlier this year.
Closing arguments are expected to take the rest of today with jury deliberations set to begin tomorrow morning (Nov. 23).