/  11.23.2021


Wanda Cooper-Jones, the mother of Ahmaud Arbery, said one of the defense attorneys in her son’s murder trial was “beyond rude” for describing her son’s toenails as “dirty.”

On Monday (Nov. 22), attorney Laura Hogue — who represents Gregory McMichael, one of three men charged with murder for killing Arbery — said the 25-year-old jogger was no victim and caused his own death. “Turning Ahmaud Arbery into a victim after the choices that he made, does not reflect the reality of what brought Ahmaud Arbery to Satilla Shores in his khaki shorts, with no socks to cover his long, dirty toenails,” Hogue said.

Following Hogue’s closing arguments, Arbery’s parents spoke to reporters outside the courtroom about how her comments affected them. “She described Ahmaud as his long legs and his dirty long toenails, that was just beyond rude,” said Cooper-Jones. “Regardless of what kind of toenails he had, what size legs he had, that was still my son, and my son actually was running for his life in that description. I thought that was just flat out just rude.”

“It’s just wrong,” said Marcus Arbery Sr. “So, the way that they tried to characterize his name…it is just really hurting to his mom and me.”

“They got no defense ground, so she trying anything. They desperate, so we already know that. So, all we want is justice. Justice for Ahmaud,” Arbery Sr. added.

Attorney Benjamin Crump, who represents the family, said Hogue’s remarks were “difficult” for Arbery’s relatives to hear because “they’re sitting here assassinating his character.”

On Monday (Nov. 22), closing arguments for the trial of McMichael, his son Travis McMichael and William “Roddie” Bryan began. All three men are facing a nine-count state indictment — including false imprisonment, felony murder and aggravated assault charges — for hunting and killing Arbery last year as he jogged through a Georgia neighborhood. They have pleaded not guilty to all charges.

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