BRUNSWICK, Ga. — Testimony continues Monday and is expected to last another week in the trial of Ahmaud Arbery’s killing. The prosecution spent week one building a vigilante murder case against the three defendants.
During week two, the defense will try to show the jury the defendants acted in self-defense.
Here are the five things you may have missed from week one of testimony and five things coming up in week two.
Jurors heard testimony from several police officers
Glynn County Officer William Duggan was the first witness called by the state.
Duggan described seeing Travis, off to the side, covered in blood and asked if he was okay.
“It was a quick reply of basically “no I’m not okay, I just *expletive* killed somebody,” Duggan testified of Travis’s response.
Glynn County Police Detective Parker Marcy testified defendant Greg McMichael did not say he thought Arbery committed any crime on the day he was killed. But said Greg shared his suspicion Arbery was responsible for crimes in the neighborhood. The prosecution said there's never been any proof Arbery committed any crime in the neighborhood.
Jurors watched body cam, surveillance video and heard 911 calls
An officer's testimony Friday revealed there had been a known break-in with a white suspect just down the street from where he died, weeks before his death.
The incident happened in the Satilla Shores neighborhood, where father and son Greg and Travis McMichael began chasing after Arbery on Feb. 23, 2020, with Travis eventually shooting and killing him in a struggle.
In some of the most consequential testimony, a deposition was shown in court with the owner of an unfinished home at the center of the case and included a 911 call he made about a white couple entering onto the property and his concern about them potentially being there to steal something.
Officer testifies Greg McMichael never said he was attempting to make a citizen’s arrest
Glynn County Police Officer Jeff Brandeberry testified that Greg never said he was making a citizen's arrest on the day Arbery was killed.
Prosecutor Linda Dunikowski, "While speaking with you did Greg McMichael ever use the word 'burglary'? Did he ever use the word 'trespass'?"
Brandeberry answered, "No, ma'am."
Dunikowski, "Did he ever tell you while you were talking to him that he was attempting to make a citizen's arrest?"
Brandeberry, "No ma'am."
Dunikowski, "Did he ever use the word 'arrest'?"
Brandeberry, "No ma'am."
A citizen's arrest has been a big part of the defense's case.
Judge Timothy Walmsley left the bench
Judge Timothy Walmsley excused the jurors, admonished Travis McMichaels’ attorney, and left the bench over what he called a "lack of respect."
In the incident on Tuesday, the attorney was visibly agitated when a second straight objection to his line of questioning by the prosecution was sustained by Judge Walmsley.
He appeared to shrug off the judge as he spoke to him and turn back around, saying something to the effect of being "confused."
Walmsley then addressed Sheffield for the "disrespect" he was showing the court:
"You can agree or disagree with this court, that is your prerogative, but to act in the way that you just did in front of this panel - disrespect - I don't care whether you like my rulings or not, or you like me or not, but in this court, the Superior Court, it is axiomatic that counsel show at least respect for what the court is doing and what you just did shows a lack of respect for what the court is trying to do here, which is create an environment which is fair to all parties," he said.
Attorney doesn't want more 'Black pastors'
Defense attorney Kevin Gough made some eye-opening remarks Thursday regarding Rev. Al Sharpton, who was inside the day prior at the Glynn County Courthouse in Brunswick, Georgia.
Gough told Judge Walmsley that he was concerned Sharpton’s presence in court Wednesday was an attempt to intimidate the disproportionately white jury hearing the case. The jury was not in the courtroom when he made the remarks.
Five things coming up
- It’s expected the state will wrap up Monday or Tuesday
- The McMichael’s defense will lean into their self-defense and citizen’s arrest claims
- Roddie Bryan’s team will build on their defense that he was a witness, not a suspect
- Reverend Jesse Jackson will attend the trial- after the Black pastor comment
- Closing arguments could start on Friday at the earliest