Feb 7, 2022

Ahmaud Arbery's murderers headed to trial again

Travis and Gregory McMichael arrive in court in suits

Travis (left) and Gregory McMichael in November. Photo: Stephen B. Morton-Pool/Getty Images

The three white men convicted of murdering Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old Black man shot while jogging down a coastal Georgia street, are going to trial again.

What’s happening: Father and son Gregory and Travis McMichael and their former neighbor, William Roddie Bryan, were found guilty of Arbery’s murder in state court in November and sentenced to life in prison.

  • The Department of Justice is also prosecuting the men for federal hate crimes and attempted kidnapping. Jury selection for that trial in federal court begins Monday in Brunswick.

Why it matters: While prosecutors’ arguments in the state murder trial largely left out the issue of race, it is likely to take center stage at this federal trial.

  • Of note: Georgia did not have a state-level hate crimes statute at the time of Arbery’s murder, but the state has since passed a hate crimes law in Arbery’s name.

Catch up quick: The public has seen glimpses of evidence that prosecutors could bring up at trial, including messages written by Travis McMichael featuring racial slurs and testimony by an investigator that McMichael called Arbery the n-word as he lay dying. But the justice department could introduce even more as the trial unfolds.

What we’re watching: Like the first trial, it’s expected to be difficult to find a panel of impartial jurors for the high-profile case. The judge granted attorneys’ requests to broaden the juror pool and has summoned 1,000 Georgians this week.


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