The lawyers of Gregory and Travis McMichael, the father and son charged with the murder in the death of Ahmaud Arbery, are demanding that Arbery not be labeled a “victim” at the trial because they say it would be detrimental after one of several petitions would be submitted in the last days of December.
“A proper process requires minimal error or prejudice in this process. The use of terms like “victim” allows the focus to shift to the accused rather than staying on evidence of every element of the crimes charged, “the lawyers wrote in a December 30 motion.
Another motion tells the court to limit Arbery’s photos to just one at the trial and for him to appear himself. It also asked an unrelated witness to identify Arbery in the photo instead of a relative, “in order to avoid creating a cumulative adverse error in the trial.”
Arbery, a 25-year-old black man, was out jogging near Brunswick, Georgia on February 23, 2020 when the McMichaels chased him in their truck and Travis shot him after the two had fought. Gregory McMichael was told police after the shooting on body cameras that he felt Arbery could be responsible for previous thefts in the neighborhood, an official with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation testified in a preliminary hearing in June.
Both men have pleaded guilty to criminal charges of malice and murder.
William “Roddie” Bryan Jr., who recorded a video of Arbery’s death, allegedly hit Arbery with his truck after joining the McMichaels. Bryan pleaded not guilty of criminal attempt, false imprisonment and criminal offense.
All three men who are white are detained without bond.
The McMichaels lawyers have also filed a motion asking the court to prohibit viewers from wearing face masks or t-shirts that read “Black Lives Matter,” “I can’t breathe,” or similar slogans, as some did. they say during previous proceedings in the case.
“It is the right of these supporters to wear the clothes they choose, hold up any sign they want, and chant any slogan in front of the courtroom. That is the nice thing about our first amendment. Once inside the courthouse, the sanctity of the defendants’ right to a fair and impartial trial exceeds the first amendment, ”the motion reads.
Other motions the attorneys filed on December 30th and 31st are asking the court to order prosecutors to remove all records relating to “Arbery’s Disciplinary, Criminal and Mental Health Records” as well as the contents of his phone and social records -Media accounts to surrender and exclude evidence of all recorded McMichaels prison calls while they were held at the Glynn County Detention Center.