0728 GMT May 25, 2022
The arguments began before a disproportionately white jury after 10 days of testimony that concluded last week, not long after the man who shot Arbery testified that he pulled the trigger in self-defense, al.com reported.
Arbery’s killing became part of a larger national reckoning on racial injustice after a graphic video of his death leaked online two months later. Though prosecutors did not argue that racism motivated the killing, federal authorities have charged all three men with hate crimes, alleging that they chased and killed Arbery because he was black.
Father and son Greg and Travis McMichael grabbed guns and pursued Arbery, 25, in a pickup truck after spotting him running in their neighborhood on Feb. 23, 2020. A neighbor, William “Roddie” Bryan, joined the chase and recorded the video of Travis McMichael opening fire as Arbery threw punches and grabbed for his shotgun.
No one was charged in the killing until Bryan’s video leaked and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation took over the case from local police. All three men face counts of murder and other charges.
Prosecutor Linda Dunikoski told the jury the defendants had no evidence Arbery had committed crimes in their neighborhood, but instead acted on assumptions based on neighborhood gossip and speculative social media posts.