Their own words may be destined to kill Ahmed Abery

‘S video Ahmad Arbery’s shotgun death A shocking piece of evidence suddenly brought the killing of black people into the national consciousness.

But the Murder One of the three white men who pursued him may have gained safety through what they said to investigators on the day of the shooting.

When his son killed Abery, Greg McMichael was on the bed of a pickup truck and told the police that the black man “Trapped like a mouse” He told Abery: “Stop it, or I will blow your head off!”

Statements like this allow prosecutors to provide background information for this short video that does not show the entire shooting, and the five minutes for these people to hunt down Abery are very small.

“It is these remarks that undermine defenses more than videos. If they never talked to the police and they said we saw him take things from the property and run away-the jury might acquit them,” follow up in Atlanta Andrew Fleischmann, the appeal attorney for the trial, said.

What did they say:

Archer Travis McMichael, his father Greg McMichael and neighbor William “Rody” Bryan Everyone speaks widely And a few hours after Abery was killed near Brunswick, Georgia, in February 2020, he spoke candidly with Green County investigators.

They told the police that they were not sure what Abery did wrong, which was a huge blow to their defense of arresting citizens.

this Citizen arrest laws, mostly repealed by legislators After Arbery’s death, a person is required to see or immediately know the crime being committed or has a reasonable suspicion that someone is evading a felony in order to defend the arrest of the citizen.

“I don’t think this person actually stole anything from there, or if he did it early in the process. But he always goes back to this damn house over and over again,” said Greg McMichael, according to Interview transcript read in court by Green County Police Sergeant Roderick Nohely.

Bryan saw Arbery running over on his front porch, followed by McMichaels’ truck. He told the police that he did not know any of them or what triggered the hunt, but he was shouting, “Have you all caught him?”

In an interview with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Bryan said that he wanted to take a photo of Abery for the police to see, but he could not point out any crimes committed by Abery.

“I think he did something wrong,” Brian said. “I’m not sure.”

These statements enabled the prosecutor Linda Dunikoski to select the defense’s arguments in an orderly manner.

“No one is talking about citizens being arrested. I don’t mean using the spell of “citizen arrested”. I mean no one is saying,’We see this person burglary, we will catch him, so we can You can hand him over to the police because he committed this crime,'” Atlanta defense lawyer Page said.

Defense case

This makes the male lawyer Try to explain Take away their statements.

“The evidence shows that Roddie Bryan made a reasonable effort to find the right word,” Brian’s lawyer said. Kevin Gough Tell the jurors in the closing statement on Monday.

Travis McMichael Testify in your own defenseSaid that when he talked to the police for the first time, he was shocked, saying that the shooting was the most traumatic event in his life.

Greg McMichael’s lawyer said that perhaps he never yelled at Abery: “Stop or I will blow your head”, as he told the police, because this sentence is not recorded Greg McMichael called the police during the shooting or the mobile phone video of the 911 call. Both recordings only cover a small part of the five-minute hunt that ended in the death of Abery.

“You only have a few defensive measures for things that are basically frank,” Pater said.

Familiar face

Greg McMichael, a former investigator in the Green County District Attorney’s Office, may think he can solve problems between acquaintances and friends.

It worked for a while.These people have not been charged More than two months — Only after the shooting video surfaced and the case was handed over to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. Two days later, state agents charged these people.

Fleischmann said: “This is just a case where a client convinced himself to get out of trouble, and later these remarks put him in trouble again.”

Telephone records show that after the shooting, Greg McMichael called his former boss, District Attorney Jackie Johnson. Johnson transferred the case to a field prosecutor, who invoked the Citizens Arrest Act to recommend that no charges be made. When the video surfaced and handed it over to the state, a third prosecutor was reviewing the case.

Johnson be accused She was charged with a felony for violating her oath of office, and was charged with a misdemeanor for obstructing the police because of her role in the investigation. The authorities released little information about Johnson’s actions, except that she never revealed that she asked the second prosecutor to provide advice to the police immediately after the death of the second prosecutor in Abery.


Jeffrey Collins contributed to this report.

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