Ahmaud Arbery’s killing: What we know


The third prosecutor said on the day he would present evidence to a grand jury and asked the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to assist in the case. Within 48 hours, GBI announced it had arrested Travis McMichael, 34, the man who shot Arbery, and his father, Greg McMichael, a former Glynn County police and prosecuting officer.

Greg McMichael, 64, told police he and his son grabbed their guns and chased Arbery in their truck, believing he was responsible for burglary in their neighborhood, according to a police incident report. When they confronted him, the father told police, Arbery attacked Travis McMichael, who killed him as the two fought for his shotgun, the report states.

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CNN's attempt to reach McMichaels has failed.

Here's the latest:

Where's the case?

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Mainly where it stood last week, but with a much higher call for justice. In addition to Arbery's supporters – who have staged demonstrations since the relief of the Covid-19 lockdown – celebrities and politicians including presidential candidate Joe Biden, LeBron James, LL Cool J and Kim Kardashian West have joined the choir.

What is McMichael's charge of?

McMichaels faces murder and aggravated assault charges, GBI said Thursday. The indictment against Greg McMichael notes that he was "a party to the crime." georgia law provides several scenarios where parties to a crime may be charged with the crime itself.

Are they still in Glynn County Jail?

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Yes. At a Friday court appearance, a judge said bail would be decided at a later date. It is unclear whether McMichaels is represented by attorneys.

Why did the arrests take so long?

It's not entirely clear, but the accusations from two district attorneys – one of whom McMichael's & # 39; acts "absolutely legal" – no doubt played a role.

Two Glynn County commissioners – one of whom, Paul Murphy, has spoken to CNN – have publicly said that local police have told them that Judge Attorney Jackie Johnson's office in Brunswick instructed authorities not to make an arrest.

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Johnson called the charge false and says the Glynn County Police Department should have requested GBI assistance earlier. She quit the day after the murder, citing Greg McMichael's 20-year tenure as an office investigator, and commissioners are now trying to "apologize and ignore the problems of the Glynn County Police Department, which they ultimately are responsible for," she said .

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GBI said no one asked for help on the case until Tuesday (although GCPD had previously asked the agency for help with threats it received and with the leak of the video).

Will there be more arrests?

Lawyers for Arbery's family have called for the arrest of William Bryan, who filmed the video showing Arbery's murder.

A Glynn County police report indicates Greg McMichael told an investigator that Bryan helped them in the pursuit of Arbery, but Bryan's lawyer rebuffed allegation.

Bryan is not vigilant, had no real relationship with McMichaels, cooperated with police and provided them with video of the murder, said attorney Kevin Gough. Still, he has been devastated, received death threats and lost his job, the lawyer said.

GBI has not charged Bryan with a crime, but Director Vic Reynolds told reporters: "We are investigating everyone involved in the case, including the person who shot the video."

Will federal authorities intervene?

Barry Paschal, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Georgia, said: "Our office does not comment on active investigations, including whether or not these investigations are taking place.

On Sunday, This is what Georgia State Attorney Chris Carr said in a press release that he had asked that the U.S. The Department of Justice investigated the handling of the case.

"We are committed to a full and transparent review of how the Ahmaud Arbery case was handled from the beginning," Carr said. "The family, the community and the state of Georgia deserve answers, and we will work with others at state and federal law enforcement to find those answers."

The investigation will include investigating communications from and between the Brunswick and Waycross attorneys, Carr said.

Lawyers representing the Arbery family say they welcome a federal-level investigation.

"We are pleased that Georgia AG Chris Carr has officially asked the Department of Justice to investigate the handling and potential coverage of the murder of Ahmaud Arbery," said the joint statement from attorneys S. Lee Merritt, Benjamin Crump and L. Chris. Sa Stewart. "We have asked for DOJ involvement since we first took this case. There are far too many questions about how this case was handled and why it took 74 days for two of the killers to be arrested and charged in Mr. Arbery's death."

When is the trial?

It will be scheduled for future court hearings. Before the defendant is to be sued, she or he must be indicted, and District Attorney Tom Justice Tom Durden will not be able to present evidence to a grand jury until the state Supreme Court's coronavirus restrictions are lifted June 12.

Will it be tried in Glynn County?

It will be up to McMichael's & # 39; legal team to decide whether to press for a change of place, which will ultimately be decided by a judge.

Who will address it?

Attorneys have urged Attorney General Chris Carr to appoint a special prosecutor, but Carr appointed Durden last month after the other two prosecutors bowed.

In his letter last week announcing his grand jury decision, Durden wrote: "Having no prior knowledge of the incident or any relationship with any investigators or witnesses, I accepted the appointment to review the case and take appropriate action."

Durden has not returned CNN's requests for comment.

Why did the other prosecutor appeal?

Waycross Judicial Circuit District Attorney George Barnhill's son worked in the Brunswick Judicial Circuit, from which Greg McMichael retired. His son and McMichael once assisted with a prosecutor's office against Arbery, Barnhill said without elaborating on a letter last month to Carr.

Although Barnhill saw no conflicts of interest in handling the Arbery case, he agreed to return at Arbery's mother's request, he said.

When he resigned, he filed a defense against McMichael, saying: 1) his father and son had "solid first-hand probable cause" as civilians to arrest Arbery; 2) apparently they were just trying to "stop and hold this criminal suspect until law enforcement arrived"; 3) Arbery's "mental health records and past convictions" explain his alleged aggression; 4) "McMichael was allowed to use deadly force to protect himself"; and 5) Arbery may have shot himself while fighting the shotgun.

What mental health record and beliefs?

Arbery's father, Marcus Arbery, denied his son had mental health problems, telling CNN, "Isn't there anything wrong with him."

Brunswick News reported that Arbery was indicted for allegedly carrying a gun into a high school basketball game in 2013 when Arbery was 19, and the family's legal team has acknowledged Arbery's arrest in 2018 on charges of shoplifting.

"The reference to … alleged behavior from a high school or retail gap is absurd and has nothing to do with his murder," said family lawyer S. Lee Merritt.

What is McMichael's defense?

It is not clear but to judge by Greg McMichael's account, as chronicled in the police report (and to a lesser extent Barnhill's letter), they will trust resident arresting statutes and self-defense when Greg McMichael alleged Arbery "maliciously attacked" his shotgun son as he stood in the way.

How does Georgia Citizenship Law Work?

"An individual can arrest an offender if the offense is committed in his presence or within his immediate knowledge," the law says. "If the offense is a crime and offenders flee or attempt to escape, a private individual can arrest him on reasonable and probable cause for suspicion."

Did Arbery commit a crime that day?

He has not been accused of one. The mother said he was just jogging.

While Greg McMichael told police there had been a string of burglaries in the neighborhood, Glynn County police, Cheri Bashlor, said there had been only one – a gun stolen from an unlocked vehicle in front of McMichael's home – in more than one seven weeks before the shooting.

McMichael also said he saw Arbery inside a home being built, which is backed up by a video, but the home owner told CNN he did not see Arbery committing any crime on the day of the shooting (though at least one has not reported a crime been committed in the past by an unidentified perpetrator, he said).

GBI is review of photos and video related to the case – noting that it had undergone evidence and video evidence before the McMichaels arrest – but could not say Saturday whether the video from the home was reviewed prior to the arrest. Merritt said it showed nothing meaningful.

Merritt said this video according to the evidence we already know. "Ahmaud Arbery was out running. He stopped at a property under construction where he did no illegal activity and stayed for only a short period of time."

Can the murder be treated as a hate crime?

However, Georgia has no such provision some lawmakers are trying to change that. The US Department of Justice may sue defendants under a federal hate crime law.

CNN's Jason Morris, Dakin Andone, Angela Barajas, Martin Savidge, Hollie Silverman, Erica Henry and Melissa Alonso contributed to this report.

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