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Closing arguments underway in trial of men accused of Ahmaud Arbery's murder

Gregory McMichael
Posted at 7:47 AM, Nov 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-22 11:34:00-05

BRUNSWICK, Ga. — During closing arguments Monday in the murder trial for the three white men involved in fatally shooting Ahmaud Arbery, the prosecution argued that none of the suspects had cause to make a citizen's arrest when they saw him in their neighborhood.

Linda Dunikoski told jurors in her closing arguments Monday that the three defendants decided to pursue Arbery "because he was a Black man running down their street."

The closing arguments come after both the prosecution and defense concluded arguments to the jury last week. Reports also emerged last week that a lawyer for one of the men on trial sought a plea deal before the defense rested its case.

According to prosecutors, Arbery was jogging in Brunswick on Feb. 23, 2020, when he briefly stopped inside a home under construction.

When the McMichaels saw Arbery in the area, they armed themselves and chased after him in a pickup truck because they believed him to be responsible for a series of break-ins in the neighborhood.

Video from the incident showed the McMichaels drive up beside Arbery. A struggle followed for a few moments before Travis McMichael fired his gun, and Arbery stumbled to the ground.

Defense attorneys insist the three men committed no crimes and that Travis McMichael only fired his weapon after a "violent encounter" with Arbery. The defense has also argued that the men were empowered to take Arbery into custody thanks to a since-repealed citizen's arrest law that was in effect at the time of the shooting.

Prosecutors would not file charges in connection with the shooting for nearly three months and only after the video of the shooting became public.

Between the shooting and the video's release, the case passed between several judicial circuits and district attorneys. Some of them worked with Greg McMichael during his time working as a police officer and investigator.

One ex-prosecutor, Brunswick Judicial Circuit District Attorney Jackie Johnson, has been indicted for misconduct related to her work on the case.

The McMichaels were arrested and charged with murder on May 7, 2020. Bryan was arrested two weeks later.