Brunswick, Georgia – After a slow start and warnings from judges, lawyers resumed examining jury candidates on Tuesday in the trial of three white men charged with stalking and murdering Amado Arbery.
On February 23, 2020, Arbury’s fatal shooting in a residential area outside the port city of Brunswick sparked public protests after a video of the murder cell phone leaked online two months later. Father and sons Greg and Travis McMichael and neighbors William “Roddy” Bryan were charged with murder and other crimes in connection with the death of a 25-year-old black man.
Prosecutors and defense lawyers spent hours on Monday asking the first panel of 20 jury candidates. It is one of 600 called by the jury, with an additional 400 on deck next week if necessary.
The growing momentum and the sheer number of potential jurors shed light on how the Arbury murder on the Glynn County waterfront continues to fuel major news, social media feeds, and workplace chatter. A jury panelist told a lawyer he was tired of hearing about the case. Another wondered whether she should fear for her own safety if she became part of the final jury and the verdict angered some.
When the court was adjourned on Monday night, eight jury candidates were dismissed and the status of the other four individual cross-examinations remained unresolved.
High Court Judge Timothy Walmsley urged lawyers to “rationalize” their point of view. After explicitly asking the jury’s panelists whether he already found the defendant guilty, he repeatedly stopped the defendant’s lawyer.
“You don’t ask a potential jury for their opinion of guilt and innocence,” Walmsley warned a lawyer.
Travis McMichael’s attorney, Jason Sheffield, argued that lawyers need to ask such questions in order to eliminate members of the already determined jury pool.
“Life is at stake and I think these are logical questions,” Sheffield said.
Court officials say jury selection could take more than two weeks. And prosecutor Linda Dunnikowski told jury panelists that the trial could be pushed to the week before Thanksgiving.
The court has not identified the jury candidate’s caste.
Prosecutors say Arbury was just jogging when McMichael grabbed a gun and chased him onto a pickup truck. Bryan took part in his truck chase and recorded a video of the now infamous cell phone in which Travis McMichael shot three short-range shotguns at Arbury.
Defense lawyers claim that the three men have not committed any crime. Greg McMichael told police he believed Arbery was a burglar because a security camera had previously recorded him entering a home under construction. He said that Travis McMichael fired in self-defense when Arbery hit him and tried to grab his weapon.
Prosecutors say there was no evidence that the unarmed Arbery committed the crime.
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Jury selection begins slowly in the Amado Arbery murder trial
Source Link Jury selection in the Amado Arbury murder trial slowly resumes