Jury selection in the trial of three men charged with chasing and killing Ahmaud Arbery is now in its second week of identifying potential jurors. The process win the trial of three white men accused of chasing and gunning down Ahmaud Arbery, an unarmed Black jogger in Brunswick, Georgia was expected to last only two weeks but has been slowed considerably as attorneys rigorously question potential jurors one-by-one. On Monday only nine additional prospective jurors were selected bringing the total of potential jurors to 32.
Superior Court Judge Timothy Walmsley determined that only nine additional prospective jurors were found to be objective enough to join te pool of 32 potential jurors.
That means 32 total potential jurors have been qualified to advance since jury selection began a week ago. That’s about half the number that will be needed before a final jury can be seated. The judge has said it’s possible that he may not seat a final jury of 12 people and four alternates until next week.
Gregory McMichael, 65, his son Travis McMichael, 35, and William “Roddie” Bryan, 51, all stand accused of playing a part in the shooting death of the 25-year-old Arbery, whom the trio encountered while he was jogging on Feb. 23, 2020.
The trio of alleged killers; Travis McMichael, his father Gregory McMichael, and William “Roddie” Bryan Jr. have also been charged with federal hate crimes and are scheduled to begin trial in federal court in February 2022.
On February 23, 2020 Ahmaud Arbery was confronted by an ad hoc group of vigilantes while jogging on a public street in the Satilla Shores neighborhood of Brunswick, Georgia, Travis and Gregory McMichael armed themselves with firearms and went hunting for suspicious characters in the mostly white community.
The three alleged killers set for trial got into a truck and chased Arbery through the neighborhood while yelling at him, using their vehicle to cut off his route, and threatening him with firearms, the U.S. Justice Department said in a statement. In a gut-wrenching exchange captured on video Travis McMichael leaped out of a pickup truck and pointed a shotgun at Arbery. As Arbery struggled with his aggressor the younger McMichael fired the Remington shotgun into Arbery’s torso and killed him.
William “Roddie” Bryan Jr., the man who recorded the shooting death of Arbery, is charged with striking the 25-year-old with his pickup truck during the February 23, 2020, encounter.
Bryan also faces charges of interference with rights and attempted kidnapping.
Each has pleaded not guilty.
“In addition to the hate-crime charges, Count Three alleges that all three defendants attempted to unlawfully seize and confine Arbery by chasing after him in their trucks in an attempt to restrain him, restrict his free movement, corral and detain him against his will, and prevent his escape,” the DOJ said in a news release detailing the charges.
“Counts Four and Five allege that during the crime of violence charged in Count One, Travis used, carried, brandished, and discharged a Remington shotgun, and Gregory used, carried, and brandished a .357 Magnum revolver.”
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