Testimony In The Trial Of Ahmaud Arbery’s Killers Is Over, What’s Next?

Photo: Getty Images

Testimony in the trial of the three men accused of killing Ahmaud Arbery in broad daylight last February officially concluded Thursday afternoon (November 18).

After a slow and admittedly discriminatory jury selection process, state prosecutors and lawyers for the three men –– Gregory McMichael, Travis McMichael, and William Bryan, Jr. –– accused of chasing and shooting Arbery took 10 days to lay out their cases.

A total of 20 witnesses were called to the stand, including Travis, who fired the fatal shots on Arbery February 23, 2020 in a Brunswick, Georgia neighborhood. While under cross examination, Travis admitted that Arbery had not brandished any weapon, reached for anything, and, was “just running,” backtracking on his previous statement that Ahmaud had reached for the shotgun and he fired in “self-defense.”

The men –– all of whom have pleaded not guilty –– said they were attempting to put Arbery under “citizen’s arrest” using a Civil War-era state law, that has since been repealed.

On Friday (November 19), Lee Merritt, an attorney representing Wanda Cooper-Jones, Ahmaud’s mother, said William Bryan’s attorney sought a plea deal with prosecutors but was denied.

Photo: Getty Images

The Witnesses

In addition to Travis McMichael, the court heard from Larry English Jr., the owner of the home that Arbery and others were seen walking around that day. The home was under construction at the time of Arbery’s killing.

English testified that while he called 911 on people being at the site months prior, he did not ask the McMichael’s to protect it.

Other witnesses who took the stand include: several women from the neighborhood who testified about crime in the area, and the medical examiner who said Ahmaud was dead “before he hit the ground.”

What’s Next?

Closing arguments are set to begin in this trial on Monday (November 22), followed by jury instructions and deliberation.

The defense has filed several motions for a mistrial –– all of which have been denied so far –– but the official paperwork process of all the court proceedings, including the motions and any other plea deals will also continue.

The jury will then be left to deliberate following instructions of the judge and in accordance to state law.

Reading about Black trauma can have an impact on your mental health. If you or someone you know need immediate mental health help, text “STRENGTH” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 to be connected to a certified crisis counselor. These additional resources are also available:

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255

The National Alliance on Mental Illness 1-800-950-6264

The Association of Black Psychologists 1-301-449-3082

The Anxiety and Depression Association of America 1-240-485-1001

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