Calling Ahmaud Arbery a victim should not be allowed at trial, during jury selection or in the process of victims according to Greg McMichael and Travis McMichael‘s lawyers Franklin J. Hogue, Laura D. Hogue, Robert G. Rubin and Jason B. Sheffield. The lawyers wrote a motion to the Superior Court of Glynn County in Glynn County, Georgia, United States on December 30, 2020.
“Use of terms such as ‘victim’ allows the focus to shift to the accused rather than remain on the proof of every element of the crimes charged,” the lawyers explained. “As a threshold injury, the prosecution must first offer enough evidence for a court to conclude that a rational trier of fact could find that the essential elements of the crimes have been established. Working from the premise that an accused is innocent until proven guilty, it s the prosecution’s burden to prove beyond a reasonable doubt the essential elements of the crimes alleged.”
Moreover, Franklin, Laura, Rubin and Sheffield filed a motion asking the court to prohibit spectators in the trial from wearing anything with the words “Black Lives Matter,” “I Can’t Breathe” and the like. The lawyers explained that this is allowed outside the courtroom but inside the courtroom, such slogans violate the defendants’ right to a fair and impartial trial.
A native of Brunswick, Glynn County, Arbery was jogging on February 23, 2020 on Holmes Road just before entering its intersection with Satilla Drive in the Satilla Shores, a suburban subdivision near his home on the outskirts of Brunswick. In that area, three break-ins or thefts were reported from December 2019 to January 2020.
After seeing Arbery, Greg and Travis jumped into their white pickup truck and chased the African-American man. Before pursuing Arbery, Greg also informed their neighbor William “Roddie” Bryan about it.
Armed with a shotgun, Travis ambushed Arbery and fatally shot him three times while Gregory, who was armed with a .357 Magnum revolver, stood nearby in the truck bed. Bryan recorded the incident using a cellphone from his vehicle.
On June 24, 2020, Cobb County district attorney Joyette M. Holmes announced the charges Greg, Travis and Bryan are facing at the Glynn County Courthouse in Brunswick. The charges are four counts of felony murder, two counts of aggravated assault, one count of malice murder, one count of false imprisonment and one count of criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment.