Jury Begins Deliberations in Murder Trial of Black Jogger Ahmaud Arbery

The jury in the trial of three white men charged with killing Black jogger Ahmaud Arbery in Brunswick, Georgia has begun deliberations on Nov. 23.

The nearly all-white jury will determine the fate of Travis McMichael, his father Gregory, and neighbor William “Roddie” Bryan, who were charged with nine criminal counts for the death of Arbery in February 2020.

The criminal counts each defendant is facing include malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, and false imprisonment — all of which the defendants plead not guilty to.

If convicted on all charges, each defendant faces maximum sentences of life in prison.

The jury heard final rebuttal arguments from lead prosecutor Linda Dunikoski for two hours on Nov. 23 after both the prosecution and the defense delivered their closing arguments on Nov. 22.

Dunikoski told the court that the men made wrong assumptions that Arbery had committed a burglary when they pursued and murdered him.

“They made their decision to attack Ahmaud Arbery in their driveways because he was a Black man running down the street,” Dunikoski said.

The defense argued that the men were trying to conduct a citizen’s arrest, which was legal in the state at the time but has since been repealed.

The defense further claimed self-defense when Arbery “chose to fight.”

Dunikoski argued that the men did not witness Arbery commit a crime, making their claim of citizen’s arrest unjustified.

Superior Court Judge Timothy Walmsley instructed the jury that a “private citizen’s warrantless arrest must occur immediately after the perpetration of the offense, or in the case of felonies during escape.”

“If the observer fails to make the arrest immediately after the commission of the offense, or during escape in the case of felonies, his power to do so is extinguished,” Walmsley said.


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