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McMichaels seek bond; Bryan files for immunity
Ahmaud Arbery
Ahmaud Arbery

The Attorneys for Gregory and Travis McMichael, who face murder charges for the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery Feb. 23, filed motions on Aug. 6, in Glynn County Superior Court requesting bond hearings. At the same time Attorney Kevin Gough, who represents the third defendant in the case, William “Roddy” Bryan filed two motions on behalf of his client.

The three defendants were indicted on June 24, on one count of malice murder, four counts of felony murder, two counts of aggravated assault, false imprisonment, and criminal attempt to commit a felony. All three men entered a plea of not guilty mid-July during their arraignment.

Attorneys Franklin and Laura D. Hogue, who represent Gregory McMichael, and Robert G. Rubin and Jason B. Sheffield, who represent Travis McMichael requested that the court consider bond before the trial. The attorneys stated their clients were not flight risks, and are not, “a significant risk of danger to persons or property in the community.”

Travis McMichael’s attorneys added that their client has an exemplary record of service in the U. S. Coast Guard and was credited with saving the lives of a family whose boat had taken on water and sunk in the ocean. They said he is a loving father, who has not seen his son since his arrest May 7, and was always in service to folks in the community.

The defendants’ attorneys also filed motions on Aug. 6, asking the court to drop the charges of malice murder and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment against their clients, claiming the indictments were worded in a manner that, “it fails to insure due process guaranteed by the Georgia and United States Constitutions.”

Gough also filed a motion requesting that Bryan be granted immunity from criminal prosecution.

In the Aug. 6, Immunity motion Gough stated, “On Feb. 23, Ahmaud Arbery committed the offenses of burglary and criminal attempt to commit burglary,” when video showed that Arbery had entered a home that was under construction.

The motion states that Arbery was “casing” the home for items that could be taken either then or a later time. Gough mentioned Arbery had a prior conviction for shoplifting adding that his client and the other defendants had reason to suspect Arbery was committing a crime when he ran out of the house and that the defendants had probable cause to make a citizen’s arrest. The motion claims it was Arbery that attacked Travis McMichael and the defendants acted out of self-defense.

However, in earlier hearings, Cobb County Deputy Chief Assistant District Attorney Jesse Evans said Arbery, “was chased, hunted down an ultimately executed.”

Arbery was said to be jogging through the Satilla Shores neighborhood in Brunswick when he was confronted by the McMichaels who were both armed. The confrontation resulted in the death of Arbery, a former Brunswick High football player.

Georgia Bureau of Investigation Assistant Special Agent in Charge Richard Dial testified Arbery was hit prior to the shooting by the pickup truck Bryan used during his pursuit. Dial said his investigators found white fibers on the truck matching an article of clothing Arbery wore that day and a dent on the front of the truck.

The GBI agent had said that video footage did show someone who looked like Arbery enter the home. The video shows the man left the home without taking any items, Dial had said.

Dial also testified that Bryan heard Travis McMichael call Arbery a racial slur moments after shooting him. He added that similar racial slurs were found on several of Travis McMichael’s social media posts and cell phone text messages. The GBI agent said it was Arbery who acted in self-defense after being hunted down the road by the three suspects.

As of press time Tuesday Eastern Judicial Circuit Judge Timothy Walmsley has not responded to the motions.

Judge Walmsley previously denied a bond request for Bryan. Currently all three men remain in jail.

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