“Case against Georgia men charged in Ahmaud Arbery shooting moving forward”
June 4, 2020 | 5:52pm
Travis McMichael, left, and Greg McMichael listen to a preliminary hearing via a court video feed, Thursday, June 4, 2020.
Glynn County Chief Magistrate Judge Wallace Harrell moved the cases against George McMichael and his son, Travis McMichael, and William “Roddie” Bryan on to superior court for trial following a day-long hearing — the first court appearance for the three men since their arrests last month.
The McMichaels are both charged with felony murder and aggravated assault in Arbery’s Feb. 23 death, and Bryan with felony murder and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment.
The lead state investigator in the case, Richard Dial, testified that the McMichaels got into their pickup truck and chased Arbery around the Satilla Shores neighborhood for several minutes and that Bryan, who shot the viral video that brought the case to national attention, joined the chase and tried to block Arbery “multiple times.”
Dial said Travis McMichael yelled out “f—-g n—-r” after shooting Arbery.
“But for the actions of Mr. Bryan perhaps Mr. Arbery would be alive today,” Cobb County prosecutor Jesse Evans told the judge. “But for his choice to jump into this chase using two pickup trucks in a neighborhood, perhaps Mr. Arbery would have been able to flee his tormentors. And make no mistake about it, Mr. Arbery was tormented, he was hunted, he was targeted, and these men admitted that.”
“You can’t turn around and use the words ‘self-defense’ and ‘justification’ as some sort of magic talisman to make those facts disappear.”
Among those in the packed courtroom was Wanda Cooper-Jones, Arbery’s mother, who was cheered by protesters outside during a break in the proceedings.
The McMichaels and Bryan were not in court for the hearing. All three men pleaded not guilty to the charges.
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