Jury in Ahmaud Arbery Death Trial Begins Deliberations
The defense for the three men charged with killing Ahmaud Arbery finished their closing arguments Monday at the trial. The prosecutors offered their rebuttal on Tuesday and the jury is now deliberating on the verdict.
According to NPR, Travis McMichael, his father, Greg, and their neighbor William 'Roddie' Bryan have all been charged with Arbery's murder. In February 2020, the 25-year-old was running through a neighborhood in Glynn County, Ga., when the three men followed him in vehicles. He was then shot dead by Travis McMichael.
Deliberations could begin this week in the case.
Attorneys for the three men on trial say they were making a legal citizen's arrest under Georgia law and that Travis McMichael was acting in self-defense.
Arbery was Black. The three men on trial are white.
Lead prosecutor Linda Dunikoski said the defendants initiated the encounter with Arbery and thus cannot claim self-defense.
Dunikoski said the men couldn't have suspected Arbery of recent thefts in the neighborhood since there was no evidence that he stole anything.
"All three of these defendants made assumptions, made assumptions about what was going on that day," Dunikoski said. "And they made their decision to attack Ahmaud Arbery in their driveways, because he was a Black man running down the street.
"He ran away from them for five minutes," Dunikoski said. "No weapon. No threats. No way to call for help. Didn't even have a cell phone on him. Ran away from them for five minutes."
The defense attorney said Travis McMichael was within his rights to shoot and kill Arbery.
"You are allowed to defend yourself. You are allowed to use force that is likely to cause death or serious bodily injury if you believe it's necessary," Sheffield said. "At that moment, Travis believed it was necessary. This is a law that is for a person in Travis's situation."
Meanwhile, the attorney for Bryan said his client did not contribute to Arbery's death.
"Roddie Bryan's presence is absolutely superfluous and irrelevant to the tragic death of Ahmaud Arbery," Gough said.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Pool
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.