Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Potential Jurors for Ahmaud Arbery Murder Trial Know the Killers or Are Scared

Ahmaud Arbery case suspects
Gregory McMichael, Travis McMichael, and William “Roddie” Bryan

*Jury selection is proving to be a challenge in Brunswick, GA, in the trial of three White men charged in the murder of Black jogger Ahmaud Arbery.

Gregory McMichael, Travis McMichael, and William “Roddie” Bryan face nine charges, which include malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, and false imprisonment.

Lawyers for the McMichaels argue their clients were justified in chasing down Arbery when they saw him on a property that was under construction. The killers allegedly attempted to make a citizen’s arrest and killed Arbery in the process.

We previously reported… Arbery, 25, was called a ““F–king n—-r” by his killer as he lay dying on the pavement after being fatally shot while allegedly jogging through his Georgia neighborhood on February 23, 2020.

The defendants have pleaded not guilty.

READ MORE: Judge Rules Ahmaud Arbery’s Criminal Past Can’t Be Used at Trial

Hundreds of people have been summoned for the murder trial in Glynn County, Georgia. As reported by CNN, “many said they have already formed strong opinions about the case, know the defendants or are scared to sit. They point to potential consequences specific verdicts may have on the community,” the outlet writes.

“Nobody deserves to be gunned down depending on the situation,” one prospective juror said during questioning, adding he has watched the video that Bryan filmed of the killing, per the report. “My opinion is Ahmaud was murdered.”

He then noted that “based on the video, Ahmaud was unarmed and the other two were not. It’s kind of hard to show it’s self-defense there,” he told prosecutors.

Here’s more from CNN:

One woman, when asked why she indicated she has negative feelings against Greg McMichael, replied, “I don’t really know the person, but I have to admit, someone taking someone else’s life to me is a serious offense.”

One potential juror who was questioned said he believed it would be “difficult to change my mind” about whether the three men were guilty (of Arbery’s death). He said he fears there will be only one verdict that’s accepted in today’s climate, and if that verdict is not returned, some may threaten violence “again.”

“The jury is in a tough spot once they’re convened,” the man said.

Ahmaud-arbery2

Attorneys for Gregory McMichael want to ask potential jurors about the state’s citizen’s arrest law, which is a key part of the defense’s case.

Jason Sheffield, an attorney for Travis McMichael, has not asked for a change of venue “despite the global coverage of this case.”

“To ask for a change of venue, we have to find enough evidence that our jury pool is so tainted that we cannot find a fair and impartial jury,” he told CNN on Friday. “The way we get there is by questioning each and every individual juror, listening to their thoughts and opinions about the case, what they think they know and what they would be willing to consider and whether they would be able to keep an open mind.”

The twelve jury members selected will decide whether Bryan and the McMichaels are guilty of malice and felony murder. 

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is a screenwriter and freelance reporter from Chicago -- currently living in Los Angeles and covering A-list entertainment for various outlets, including Emmys.com. She has worked for: Miramax, MTV & VH1, The Jim Henson Company, Hallmark Channel, Paramount Pictures, and for iconic indie film producer Roger Corman.

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