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Opening statements to begin Friday in trial of 3 men accused of Ahmaud Arbery's murder

Ahmaud Arbery Georgia Trial Travis McMichael
Posted at 2:33 AM, Nov 05, 2021

Opening statements will take place Friday in the trial of three white men in Brunswick, Georgia, who are charged with chasing and fatally shooting Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old Black man.

The death in February 2020 was recorded on video and caused a national outcry.

Jurors are to be sworn in Friday for the trial of father and son Greg and Travis McMichael and their neighbor, William "Roddie" Bryan, who have been charged with murder and other crimes.

Jury selection concluded Wednesday when the judge declined to override decisions on the final makeup of the jury. The 12-person panel consists of 11 white jurors and one Black juror.

While the prosecution objected and Superior Court Judge Timothy Walmsley agreed there appeared to be "intentional discrimination," he said he was limited by Georgia law because defense attorneys stated non-racial reasons for excluding Black panelists from the jury, The Associated Press reports.

According to prosecutors, Arbery was jogging in Brunswick on the day of the shooting when he briefly stopped inside a home under construction.

When the McMichaels saw Arbery in the area, they armed themselves and chased after him in a pickup truck because they believed him to be responsible for a series of break-ins in the neighborhood.

Video from the incident showed the McMichaels drive up beside Arbery. A struggle followed for a few moments before Travis McMichael fired his gun, and Arbery stumbled to the ground.

Defense attorneys insist the three men committed no crimes and that Travis McMichael only fired his weapon after a "violent encounter" with Arbery.

Prosecutors would not file charges in connection with the shooting for nearly three months and only after the video of the shooting became public.

Between the shooting and the video's release, the case passed between several judicial circuits and district attorneys. Some of them worked with Greg McMichael during his time working as a police officer and investigator.

One ex-prosecutor, Brunswick Judicial Circuit District Attorney Jackie Johnson, has been indicted for misconduct related to her work on the case.

The McMichaels were arrested and charged with murder on May 7, 2020. Bryan was arrested two weeks later.