Saturday, November 27

‘I just killed a man’: Defendant who shot and killed Ahmaud Arbery testifies | Ahmaud Arbery

Testimony resumed at the trial of the men accused of murdering Ahmaud Arbery resumed in Brunswick, Georgia, on Thursday, when the Rev. Al Sharpton planned to return for a rally with a large group of black ministers.

Last week, a defense attorney intensified frustrations in Georgia’s coastal community when he said he did not want “more black pastors” sitting in the Glynn County courtroom with the Arbery family.

Attorney Kevin Gough asked the judge to remove Sharpton, saying the civil rights activist was trying to sway the jury, which is disproportionately white. The judge refused and later called Gough’s statements “reprehensible.”

The Rev. Jesse Jackson once again joined the Arbery family in the courtroom on Thursday.

The man who shot Arbery to death on February 23, 2020 testified Thursday that the 25-year-old black man’s behavior struck him as suspicious when he pulled up alongside him in his truck to ask what he was doing in the Satilla Shores neighborhood.

Travis McMichael said neighbors indicated that something had happened and that he wanted to ask Arbery about it, but when he told Arbery that the police were on their way, Arbery started running.

McMichael acknowledged that Arbery did not draw a weapon or threaten him in any way and indicated several times that he did not want to speak.

When asked how many times he had stopped behind strangers in the neighborhood to ask what they were doing there, McMichael said never.

Prosecutor Linda Dunikoski pressed McMichael about why she did not include some details of her testimony in her written statement to the police, that is, the part about telling Arbery that the police were on their way. Travis said he was “under stress, nervous, scared” at the time of his police interview and “probably choppy.”

“Why were you nervous?” Dunikoski asked.

“I just killed a man,” McMichael said. “I had blood in myself. It was the most traumatic event of my life ”.

“You were nervous because you thought you were going to jail, right?” Dunikoski asked.

“No. I gave them a statement,” McMichael said.

Ahmaud Arbery trial: defense attorney requests 'no more black pastors here' - video
Ahmaud Arbery trial: defense attorney requests ‘no more black pastors here’ – video

It was McMichael’s second day of testimony, a day after he told the jury that Arbery forced him to make a “life and death” decision by attacking him and grabbing his shotgun.

It is the first time that any of the three white men charged with murder in Arbery’s death have spoken publicly about the murder.

Prosecutors contend there was no justification for McMichael and his father, Greg McMichael, to arm themselves and chase Arbery as he ran past their home in Georgia. The shooting deepened a national outcry over racial injustice after a video was leaked online.

McMichael and his father chased Arbery in a pickup truck after he ran past their home from a nearby home under construction. A neighbor, William “Roddie” Bryan, joined the chase and recorded the video.

The McMichaels told police they suspected Arbery was a burglar because security cameras had recorded him multiple times in the unfinished home.

Prosecutors say the men chased Arbery for five minutes and used their trucks to stop him from fleeing before Travis McMichael shot him. They say there is no evidence that Arbery, who had signed up to study to become an electrician, committed any crime.

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