Ahmaud Arbery killing trial and verdict watch

The jury in the 2020 Ahmed Arbery murder trial will continue its deliberations this morning.

Gregory McMichael, his son Travis McMichael and William “Rudy” Bryan Jr. are charged with felony and premeditated murder.

Arbery’s murder sparked national outrage after a video of his shooting was released. The 25-year-old black man was outside for a jog in Brunswick, Georgia, when he was fatally shot.

While we wait for the verdict, Here is a timeline of the case:

  • Feb 23, 2020 – Arbery fatally shot: Arbery was shot and killed in an encounter with McMichaels in the Satilla Shores neighborhood, outside of Brunswick in the Georgia Lowlands. Arbery was on a trot—something he was known for, according to those who knew him—when the McMichaels grabbed their weapons and chased after Arbery. The men claimed to have carried out the arrest of a citizen of Arbery. Brian also joined the chase and recorded the shooting on his mobile phone.
  • February 27, 2020 – Brunswick Judicial District attorney disqualifies herself: The day after the shooting, Brunswick District Attorney Jackie Johnson disassociates herself from the case, citing Gregory McMichael’s position as a former investigator in her office. The attorney general’s office says it received a letter from Johnson requesting the appointment of a new attorney general on February 27.
  • April 7, 2020 – Second Prosecutor acquits himself: Waycross Judicial Circuit District Attorney George Barnhill, who took over the case after Johnson saved herself, sent a letter to the attorney general’s office informing the office of a conflict of interest: His son worked in Johnson’s office and previously worked with Gregory McMichael in a previous Arbery trial.
  • April 13, 2020 – Referral of the case to a third prosecutor: After receiving Barnhill’s letter, the Attorney General’s Office appointed the attorney general for the Atlantic Judicial Chamber, Tom Durden, to the case.
  • May 5, 2020: Video about the shooting surfaces: The 36-second video starts with Arbery running in the middle of the street toward a pickup truck parked on the road. Gregory McMichael in the truck bed as his son stands near the driver’s side door with a rifle.
  • May 7, 2020 – McMichaels arrested: Gregory and Travis McMichael have been arrested for murder and aggravated assault.
  • May 11, 2020 – The Fourth Prosecutor assumed his duties: The attorney general announced that the fourth district attorney, Joyet Holmes, Cobb County’s attorney general, would lead the case after Durden asked to step down due to a lack of adequate resources.
  • May 21, 2020 – Brian’s arrest: Two weeks after the McMichaels family’s arrest, the GBI arrested Brian on charges of premeditated murder and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment.
  • June 24, 2020 – The three defendants charged with premeditated murder: Four months after the shooting, a Glenn County grand jury indicted Gregory, Travis McMichael and Rudy Bryan on counts of murder and felony in Arbery’s death, Attorney General Holmes announced.
  • Jul 17, 2020 – The suspects plead not guilty: The three pleaded not guilty to the charges in mid-July 2020.
  • April 28, 2021 – Federal hate crime suspects indicted: In late April, federal prosecutors announced that a grand jury had indicted McMichaels and Bryan with hate crimes and kidnapping.
  • May 11, 2021 – Suspects plead not guilty in federal court: McMichaels and Bryan all pleaded not guilty to the federal charges at a May 11 hearing. They remain in state custody, and a federal trial is set to begin in February 2022.
  • November 5, 2021 – Opening arguments begin in the Arbery crime trial: After a long and contentious selection process in the coastal Georgia county, a 12-person panel was chosen – made up of one black and 11 white members. The younger MacMichael took a stand during the trial as the defense’s first witness and told the court he felt “in a life-or-death situation” when he shot Arbery. In her closing response, lead prosecutor Linda Donekowski asserted to the jury that Arbery was accused of no crime and that the defendants told police they knew they had committed no crime. Lawyers for the men accused of the murders used their final statements to argue that the McMichaels and Brian family had reason to believe Arbery was no good because he walked into a home under construction and ran when they confronted him.

CNN’s Elliott C. McLaughlin, Devon M. Sayers, Alta Spells, and Christina Maxuris contributed to this post.


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