A date has been set for the jury selection and trial in the murder case of Ahmaud Arbery. According to court documents filed in the Superior Court of Glynn County on May 7, jury selection will begin at 10 a.m. Oct. 18, in front of Judge Timothy R. Walmsley, with the trial of the matter to immediately follow.
The matter before the court will be to decide if the three white men accused of hunting down and killing Arbery on Feb. 23, 2020 are guilty or not.
Travis McMichael, 35; Travis’s father, Gregory McMichael, 65; and William “Roddie” Bryan, 51, are allegedly responsible for the crime and face charges of malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, false imprisonment, and criminal attempt to commit a felony.
Just two weeks ago the three men were indicted by a federal grand jury in the Southern District of Georgia and charged with hate crimes and the attempted kidnapping of Arbery. The indictment also charges two of the men with separate counts of using firearms during that crime of violence.
The three defendants were due in Federal Court yesterday and were set to appear for hearings being held today and tomorrow in Glynn County Superior Court. It is unclear whether the defendants will be at the court proceedings or video streamed in from jail.
The attorneys representing the father and son duo, filed a motion on April 15, stating that the defendants, “hereby move to be present in the courtroom at each and every further stage of the proceedings in this case.”
The motions as well as several others previously filed are likely to be discussed during this week’s hearings.
Attorneys for the defendants have filed motions for a fair and speedy trial, a motion to exclude all jail calls from trial, a motion to reveal all deals and a motion to disqualify the prosecutor to name a few.
Arbery’s case helped to overhaul the state of Georgia’ antiquated Citizen’s arrest statute. On Monday Governor Brian Kemp signed H. B. 479 into law. The Governor was joined by a bipartisan group of legislators, advocacy organizations, and members of Ahmaud Arbery's family.
"Today, I was proud to sign H.B. 479 to overhaul Georgia's citizen's arrest statute, while also protecting every Georgian's sacred right to defend their person and property," said Governor Kemp. "After the tragic killing of Ahmaud Arbery, we knew that action was needed to ensure an antiquated, Civil-War era statute could not be used to justify rogue vigilantism in the Peach State.
Kemp said Georgia is now the first state in the nation to repeal their Citizen’s arrest law.
The governor also acknowledged the creation of the Ahmaud Arbery Foundation which was launched May 8 on what would have been Arbery’s 27th birthday. Arbery’s mother Wanda Cooper-Jones said the goal of the foundation is to focus on minorities’ ages 7 to 17 years old and help with financial literacy and mental and physical fitness.
“We all know the stroke of a pen cannot bring back what you have lost,” Kemp said. “But today in honor of Ahmaud’s memory we commit to taking this step forward.”