Feb 15, 2022 - News

Hate crimes trial begins for Ahmaud Arbery's killers

Travis McMichael

Travis McMichael, left, speaks with his attorney, Jason B. Sheffield, center, during his sentencing. Photo: Stephen B. Morton-Pool/Getty Images

Witnesses are expected to take the stand Tuesday in the federal hate crimes trial against the three white men convicted of killing Ahmaud Arbery.

Father and son, Gregory and Travis McMichael, and their former neighbor William Bryan, have already been sentenced to life in state prison for Arbery's murder.

  • Of note: The jury consists of three Black people, eight white people and one Hispanic person, according to pool reports.

What they're saying: Federal prosecutor Bobbi Bernstein said in her opening statement that Travis McMichael referred to Black people as “subhumans,” “animals” and “monkeys” on social media, pool reports indicate.

The other side: Travis McMichael's defense attorney, Amy Lee Copeland, said the McMichaels were trying to be good neighbors.

  • AJ Balbo, who represents Gregory McMichael, told jurors the McMichaels did not target Arbery because he was Black, but because he went inside a house that was under construction.

Catch up quick: Arbery's killers were convicted last November for his Feb. 23, 2020, murder on a street in the Satilla Shores neighborhood in Glynn County.

  • Prosecutors only pursued the case months later, after video footage of the killing went viral and sparked nationwide outrage.

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