U.S. District Judge Lisa Godbey Wood has scheduled an early 2022 trial for three Georgia men charged with federal hate crimes in the killing of Ahmaud Arbery on Feb. 23, 2020.
The federal judge issued an order for jury selection to begin Feb. 7, 2022 at the federal courthouse in Brunswick.
Travis McMichael, 35; Travis’s father, Gregory McMichael, 65; and William “Roddie” Bryan, 51, were each charged with one count of interference with rights and with one count of attempted kidnapping. Travis and Gregory McMichael were also charged with one count each of using, carrying, and brandishing—and in Travis’s case, discharging—a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.
The men were indicted on the hate crimes in April of 2021.
All three defendants have also been charged in a separate state proceeding with malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, false imprisonment, and criminal attempt to commit a felony. The jury selection for that trial is set to start in October of this year.
During a hearing held June 4, 2020 Cobb County Deputy Chief Assistant District Attorney Jesse Evans said Arbery, who is black, “was chased, hunted down an ultimately executed,” by the McMichaels.
During that hearing 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 also testified that Bryan heard Travis McMichael call Arbery a racial slur moments after shooting him. Arbery had gunshot wounds to his chest, upper shoulder and hand Dial said.
Attorneys for the defendants maintain their clients acted out in self-defense.