*The prosecution in the Ahmaud Arbery killing trial rested Tuesday following more than a week of testimony from investigators and experts. The defense is now expected to call 30 witnesses to offer testimony and the process will stretch into early next week.
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 when he resisted their threatening tactics.
We previously reported… Arbery, 25, was called “F–king n—-r” as he lay dying on the pavement after being shot while allegedly jogging through his Georgia neighborhood on February 23, 2020. Prosecutors rested their case “after the jury saw graphic photos of the shotgun wounds that punched a gaping hole in Arbury’s chest,” per The Associated Press.
Robert Rubin, one of Travis McMichael’s attorneys, noted that Arbery died from wounds “sustained during a struggle for a shotgun.” Despite the shot to his right wrist, Rubin said, “nothing prevented Mr. Arbery from holding the gun with one hand and swinging and punching with the other hand.”
The defendants have pleaded not guilty. Charges were not filed against the accused killers for months until video footage of the shooting was made public.
Kevin Gough, the attorney for Bryan, apologized last week for arguing in the courtroom that “we don’t want any more Black pastors coming in here” after the Rev. Al Sharpton joined Arbery’s parents in court last week. Gough said the visual could potentially influence and intimidate the jury.
“If we’re going to start a precedent, starting yesterday, where we’re going to bring high-profile members of the African American community into the courtroom to sit with the family during the trial in the presence of the jury, I believe that’s intimidating and it’s an attempt to pressure — could be consciously or unconsciously — an attempt to pressure or influence the jury,” Gough said in court last Thursday.
On Monday, when Rev. Jesse Jackson joined the victim’s family in court, Gough again complained about the presence of a Black pastor in the courtroom.
“How many pastors does that Arbery family have? We had the Rev. Al Sharpton here earlier last week … I don’t know who Mr. Jackson, Rev. Jackson, is pastoring here,” Gough said.
“Your Honor, I would submit with all respect to the Rev. Jesse Jackson that his is not different than bringing in police officers or uniformed prison guards in a small town where a young Black man has been accused of assaulting a law enforcement officer or corrections officer,” Gough said.
Judge Walmsley shot down the attorney’s complaints, stating: “Mr. Gough at this point, I’m not exactly sure what you’re doing. I have already ruled on this court’s position with regard to the gallery and with all candor, I was not even aware that Rev. Jackson was in the courtroom until you started your motion.”
Jackson reportedly intends to appear at the court proceedings throughout the week. Sharpton has called for a march and rally outside the courthouse Thursday.