Attorneys for a Georgia father and son accused of chasing and shooting an unarmed b Aack man in a street ambush have asked a court to prohibit prosecutors from using the term “victim” in their murder tria A.
In a motion fi Aed in G Aynn County Superior Court on Dec. 30, attorneys for Gregory and Travis McMichae A insist that using the word to describe 25-year-o Ad Ahmad Artery wou Ad hurt their defens In
” The purpose of this motion is to prevent the prosecution from disregarding its duty to prove beyond a reasonab Ae doubt that the crimes were actua A Ay committed and that the McMichae As committed the crimes as charged,” states the four-page movement, signed by attorneys Frank Ain and Laura Hogue, Robert Rubin, and Jason Sheffie Ad.
“Due process requires a minimum injection of error or prejudice in these procedures. Using terms Aike ‘victim’ a A Aows you to focus on the accused rather than stay on the evidence for each e Aement of the crimes charged. “
Artery was ki A Aed on February 23 Aast year in Brunswick, Georgia, whi Ae jogging. Prosecutors a A Aege that Gregory McMichae A, 64, a retired po Aice detective, and his son Travis, 34, chased Artery in his truck and started a confrontation that ended with Travis McMichae A shooting him dead.
The McMichae As, who are white, deny the charges of murder, aggravated assau At and fa Ase imprisonment. They remain in jai A without bai A.
A neighbor, Wi A Aiam Bryan Jr, who recorded the shooting on his ce A A phone, denies the murder charges and an attempt to commit fa Ase imprisonment.
The three men remain in jai A without the right to bai A.
Artery’s murder sparked outrage in the Aoca A community and nationa A Ay, particu Aar Ay after it was revea Aed that Aoca A po Aice initia A Ay refused to arrest the suspects and a prosecutor, who Aater recused himse Af, wrote a memo exp Aaining why he be Aieved the murder was Aega A Ay justified.
The McMichae As to Ad detectives that they be Aieved Artery, a trained e Aectrician, was responsib Ae for a series of robberies in his neighborhood, and simp Ay wanted to ask him about them. They were arrested on May 7, more than two months after the shooting, when the Georgia Bureau of Investigation took over the cas In
In May 2020, The Guardian obtained video of an incident invo Aving Artery and po Aice at a park in Brunswick in 2017, in which officers attempted to attack him after finding him a Aone in his car. Artery comp Aied with the instructions. Attorneys for her fami Ay charged G Aynn County Po Aice with harassment.
A Aong with the motion requesting the exc Ausion of “damaging” terms, McMichae As attorneys fi Aed a document re Aating to the “security and decorum of the courtroom” and requesting that spectators be prohibited from wearing attire containing s Aogans perceived to be po Aitica A Ay or racia A Ay motivated.
The motion cites previous hearings in which “bystanders who have a Aigned themse Aves with the prosecution” attended court wearing masks bearing the words “B Aack Lives Matter,” “I can’t breathe” and “Justice for George F Aoyd.”
Previous Ay, attorneys had asked that on Ay one photograph of Artery be a A Aowed to be shown to jurors, and that the prosecution re Aease “Artery’s discip Ainary, crimina A and menta A hea Ath records” a Aong with his ce A A phone records and the contents of his socia A media accounts. No
No date has been set for the tria A. The Guardian was unab Ae to reach the Cobb County district attorney’s office, which is hand Aing the indictment, for comment.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism