Their own words may have destined the men who killed Amado Arbury.


Video Armode Arberry Shotgun Death It was a shocking proof that suddenly brought the murder of a black man to the public’s consciousness.

However Convicted of murder Of the three white men who chased him, the investigators may have secured as much in their own words on the day of the shooting.

Greg McMichael, who was in the bed of a pickup truck when his son killed Arbury, told police to a black man. “I was trapped like a mouse” And he said to Arbury: “Stop, or I’ll blow your head off!”

Such a statement allowed prosecutors to give context to a short video that did not show the entire shooting and was barely five minutes after the man chased Arbury.

“It’s these statements that ruined the defense more than the video. Appeal lawyer Andrew Fryschmann, who followed the trial in Atlanta, had never spoken to the police and he did something from his property. The jury may have been acquitted if he said he had taken it out and saw it running. “

They said:

Shooter, Travis McMichael, his dad, Greg McMichael, and his neighbor William “Rody” Brian. Everything spoke extensively Just hours after the murder of Arbury near Brunswick, Georgia in February 2020, he spoke openly with an investigator in Glynn County.

They told police that they didn’t know exactly what Arbury made a mistake. It would later hurt their defense that they were arresting civilians.

NS Citizen’s arrest law abolished mainly by lawmakers After Arbury’s death, in order to justify the arrest of civilians, he had to see the crime being committed, know immediately, or have reasonable suspicion that someone had escaped a felony.

“I don’t think the man actually stole anything from it, or even if he stole it, it was early in the process. But he went to this damn house over and over again. I’ll be back, “said Gregory McMichael, according to a record of an interview read in court by Sergeant Roderick Nohilly of Glynn County Police.

Brian was on his front porch when he saw Arberry passing by McMichael’s truck behind him. He told the police that he didn’t recognize any of them, or knew what prompted the chase, but he still participated after yelling, “Did you get him?” bottom.

In an interview with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Brian said he wanted to take a picture of Arbury to show to the police, but couldn’t point out the crime he had committed.

“I thought he did something wrong,” Brian said. “I certainly didn’t know.”

The statement allowed prosecutor Linda Dunikoski to systematically break down the defense’s allegations.

“No one was talking about the arrest of private individuals, and I’m not going to use the magic word” arrest of citizens. ” “I saw a man committing a robbery and I intended to detain him so he could be handed over to the police because he committed the crime,” said Page Pate, an Atlanta defense lawyer. No one is saying that. “

Defensive case

It left a lawyer for men Difficult to explain Apart from their statement.

“Evidence suggests that Lodi Brian is legally struggling to find the right word,” Brian’s lawyer said. Kevin Goff, He told the jury in closing arguments on Monday.

Travis McMichael, Testify in his own defenseWhen he first spoke to the police, he said he was shocked and said shooting was the most traumatic event in his life.

Greg McMichael’s lawyer shouted in Arbury, “Stop, or you’ll blow your head off,” as he told police, because no remarks were recorded in the shooting or 911 cell phone video. I suggested that it wouldn’t happen. Greg McMichael called the police. Both of these recordings covered only a small portion of Arbury’s deadly five-minute chase.

“There are only a handful of defenses to deal with what is basically a confession,” Pate said.

Familiar face

Greg McMichael, a former investigator at the Glynn County District Attorney’s Office, may have felt that he could solve the problem among his acquaintances and friends.

It worked for a while.The man was not charged 2 months or more — Only after the shooting video surfaced and the case was handed over to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. A state agent charged the man two days later.

“This is just the case of a client who talked himself out of the problem and later found that those statements would bring him back to it,” Freishman said.

According to phone records, Greg McMichael called his former boss, District Attorney Jackie Johnson, shortly after the shooting. Johnson handed over the case to a prosecutor outside the town. Prosecutors quoted the civil arrest law by recommending no prosecution. A third prosecutor was considering the case when the video was released and handed over to the state.

Johnson Indicted For the felony of violating her oath of office and the misdemeanor of obstructing the police for her role in the investigation. Authorities released little information about Johnson’s actions, but said she never disclosed that she had asked a second prosecutor to advise police shortly after Arbury’s killing.


Jeffrey Collins contributed to this report.