A Glynn County grand jury has indicted three suspects in the death of Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old African American man who was pursued through a Georgia neighborhood and fatally shot during an altercation with a father and son back in February.
Cobb County District Attorney Joyette Holmes revealed Wednesday afternoon that Gregory McMichael, 64, Travis McMichael, 34, and William “Roddie” Bryan, 50, were facing nine charges, including felony murder, aggravated assault, false imprisonment, and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment.
“This is another step forward in seeking justice for Ahmaud. Our team from the Cobb Judicial Circuit has been committed to effectively bringing forward the evidence in this case and today was no exception,” said Holmes, the fourth prosecutor to be assigned to the case since February.
“We will continue to be intentional in the pursuit of justice for this family and the community at large as the prosecution of this case continues,” she said.
Gregory McMichael, the father of Travis McMichael, told police at the time of the shooting that he and his son pursued a man he believed was a burglary suspect. The elder McMichael also told police that the two men followed Arbery after grabbing weapons, and that neighbor William Bryan joined in the pursuit at some later point.
Arbery was fatally shot after an encounter with the McMichaels. Bryan, who was in a car behind Arbery shortly before his death, was the person who captured his final moments on video. Wanda Jones, Arbery’s mother, believes that he was on a jog at the time of his death.
After the indictment was released, S. Lee Merritt, an attorney for Arbery’s family, tweeted that his relatives were “determined to see these men prosecuted, convicted, [and] appropriately sentenced for their actions.”
Today a Glynn County grand jury formally indicted Travis McMichael, Gregory McMichael & William Bryan for the murder of Ahmaud Arbery. The family of #AhmaudArbery is determined to see these men prosecuted, convicted & appropriately sentenced for their actions. pic.twitter.com/XkXLhvNaRb
— S. Lee Merritt, Esq. (@MeritLaw) June 24, 2020
Kevin Gough, an attorney for Bryan, maintained during a press conference on Wednesday that his client is innocent, reports News4Jax.
“Roddie did not act out of hate or prejudice that day, but rather he acted as would any patriotic American, whether white, Black or Martian,” said Gough.
Bob Rubin, an attorney for Travis McMichael, has argued that the grand jury process doesn’t require all sides of the case to be presented, and that there is still more evidence to be presented, reports the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
“In order to get an indictment, the district attorney only has to present their side of the case,” said Rubin. “It’s unfortunate the DA did not seek to present to the grand jury all the facts in the case or seek our input to what evidence we would ask them to consider. There’s more to this than has been revealed to the grand jury and we expect to plead not guilty to these charges and present the rest of the evidence in court.”
The Washington Post reported last month that Frank Hogue, an attorney for the elder McMichael, has maintained that the truth about the case will come out in the courtroom.
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