SENTENCING VIDEO BELOW
Killers of Ahmaud Arbery Found Guilty of Murder
(GA) – You never know what a jury is going to do. There is a reason for that. Both the prosecution and the defense intentionally pick people they think can be swayed. That’s already a weak point. And we’ve recently seen how unprofessionally a case can be handled by a judge, resulting in a poor outcome.
Though it seemed like it should have been an easy call in deciding the guilt or innocence of Travis McMichael, Greg McMichael, and William “Roddie” Bryan, it was never a sure thing. Fortunately, there was a highly professional judge and prosecuting attorney in this trial. The same can’t be said for the defense attorneys. The prosecuting attorney laid out the facts in an easy to understand fashion that resulted in the conviction of all three men for murder.
Blatant Racism by Defense Attorneys
The defense attorneys were handling a tough case. It’s understandable they had to come up with something that could justify what their clients had done. Instead, they chose to resort to an astounding amount of racism in the hopes of swaying the jury and in tainting the trial to get a mistrial. I guess we should have seen that coming since the questions that allowed them to strike potential jurors were phrased in a way to help them weed out minorities as jurors.
During the trial, one defense attorney, Kevin Gough, referenced the protesters outside of the courthouse as a “woke mob” and claimed their protests were a “public lynching.” This is an unbelievably heinous comment since his client literally killed someone. But he didn’t stop there. Mr. Gough complained about the Black pastors who were coming to the trial in support of the family. He said they were intimidating for the jury. Why would a pastor be intimidating? But we all know it wasn’t the pastor part he was really referring to.
Mr. Gough wasn’t the only one playing to racism. Laura Hogue, representing Greg McMichael, made the following statement about the victim, shocking everyone who has a sense of decency.
“Turning Ahmaud Arbery into a victim after the choices that he made does not reflect the reality of what brought Ahmaud Arbery to Satilla Shores in his khaki shorts with no socks to cover his long, dirty toenails.”
She must have felt they had done a really good job of selecting racist jurors to think such a disgusting portrayal of the victim would be effective in gaining sympathy for her client.
Defendants Convicted of Multiple Felony Charges
Defense attorneys will always try to make their clients look as upstanding as possible. As a reminder, this is a picture of what Travis McMichael looked like around the time of the murder. Travis McMichael was found to guilty of Murder with Malice in the killing of Ahmaud Arbery. All three men were found guilty of Felony Murder, Aggravated Assault, and False Imprisonment.
But let’s not forget, this case almost didn’t come to trial. It was 74 days before they were arrested. Greg McMichael used to be a law enforcement officer. From there he became an investigator for the District Attorney’s Office. The same office that would have jurisdiction over this case. Though he left in 2019, he was well-known by District Attorney Jackie Johnson.
As reported by MyNBC15.com,
Greg McMichael worked for Johnson as an investigator in the district attorney’s office before retiring in 2019. Phone records introduced in court show he called Johnson and left her a voicemail soon after the shooting.
District Attorney Arrested for Obstruction of Justice
It seems a lot of people in the area didn’t wanted these three white men to have to face any consequences for the murder of Ahmaud Arbery and that includes the district attorney. Former Brunswick Judicial Circuit District Attorney Jackie Johnson played a key roll in keeping the McMichaels from being arrested. She recused herself, but not before instructiong they not be taken into custody.
The indictment says Johnson violated her oath by “showing favor and affection” to Greg McMichael and “failing to treat Ahmaud Arbery and his family fairly and with dignity.” It also says she obstructed police by “directing that Travis McMichael should not be placed under arrest.”
Johnson was indicted for violating her oath of office, which is a felony level charge, and obstructing the police, a misdemeanor charge. Jackie Johnson turned herself in at the Glynn County Detention Center. She was booked and her bail bond was set at $10,000. She immediately posted bail and was released. Ms. Johnson claims she did nothing wrong.
Second District Attorney Recuses Himself
The second district attorney this case went to, District Attorney of the Waycross Judicial Circuit, George Barnhill, also recused himself.
The Attorney General’s Office would later say it received a letter from Barnhill on April 7, informing the office of his own conflict of interest: His son worked in Johnson’s office and had previously worked with Gregory McMichael on a previous prosecution of Arbery.
Barnhill learned of this conflict soon after he was appointed to the case, the AG’s office said, but he only asked to relinquish the case in early April at the request of Arbery’s mother.
So District Attorney Barnhill, was going to ignore the fact that he had a significant conflict of interest and was going to follow through with the case. This is how easily this case could have been tainted.
How Did This Case Come to Trial?
With everything going against this case, you have to wonder how it managed to ever get to trial. I firmly believe that Roddie Bryan took the video because he thought it would show him as being some kind of hero. When they ended up killing Ahmaud Arbery, Bryan hoped that the video would exonerate him. In fact, his attorney did all he could to blame the McMichaels and try to make Bryan out to be the one who was bringing them to justice by making the video.
But without the video, this case probably would never have gone anywhere, so how and why did it get released?
According to NYTimes.com,
But in a twist emblematic of the small-town politics that have defined the case, that source turned out to be a criminal defense lawyer in town who had informally consulted with the suspects.
The lawyer, Alan Tucker, said in an interview on Friday that the video had come from the cellphone of a man who had filmed the episode and that he later gave the footage to the radio station.
Supposedly, the attorney released the video to dispel rumors of the men having a confederate flag in the back of the truck, but I have to wonder. Tucker never chose to represent the men. He’s a defense attorney. He had to know what would happen if that video came to light. I think he released it because he wanted Ahmaud Arbery to get justice.