(BRUNSWICK, Ga.) — A jury is expected to begin deliberating the fates of three white Georgia men charged in the fatal shooting of Ahmaud Arbery after first hearing final arguments on Monday that the 25-year-old Black man was either “hunted down” and murdered or was killed in self-defense when he resisted a citizens’ arrest.
The radically different theories based on the same evidence are expected to be laid out in closing arguments set to commence Monday morning in Glynn County Superior Court in Brunswick, Georgia. The closing arguments are expected to take all day as the prosecutor and attorneys for the three defendants are each expected to speak to the jury.
The jury is expected to begin deliberations on Tuesday morning.
Travis McMichael, the 35-year-old U.S. Coast Guard veteran; his father, Gregory McMichael, 65, a retired Glynn County police officer, and their neighbor, William “Roddie” Bryan, 53, each face maximum sentences of life in prison if convicted on all the charges.
The defendants have pleaded not guilty to a nine-count state indictment that includes malice murder, multiple charges of felony murder, false imprisonment, aggravated assault with a 12-gauge shotgun and aggravated assault with their pickup trucks.
The McMichaels and Bryan were also indicted on federal hate crime charges in April and have all pleaded not guilty.
Here’s how the news developed. All times Eastern:
Nov 22, 10:17 am
Prosecutor says defendants attacked Arbery because he was Black
Prosecutor Linda Dunikoski began her closing argument by telling the jury that the three defendants chased and killed Arbery based on “assumptions and decisions” made in their driveways based on rumor and neighborhood gossip.
“The state’s position is all three of these defendants made assumptions, made assumptions about what was going on that day and they made their decision to attack Ahmaud Arbery in their driveways because he was a Black man running down the street,” Dunikoski said.
She stressed that the “bottom line” is that the defendants assumed Arbery had committed a crime “because he was running real fast down the street.”
“They did not call 911. They wanted to stop him and ‘question’ him before they called 911,” she said. “How do we know that? Because that is what they told the police that night.”
She asked the jury to closely consider the evidence she said shows beyond reasonable doubt that the men committed murder.
“This is your search for the truth,” Dunikoski told the jury. “You are Glynn County.”
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