When the judge in the case of the three men accused of killing Ahmaud Arbery ruled that the “character of (the) victim is neither relevant nor admissible in (a) murder trial,” the defense apparently didn’t get the message. Defense attorneys for ex-cop Gregory McMichael and his son Travis have filed another motion asking the judge to inform jurors that Arbery, a Black man, was on probation when Travis shot him on Feb. 23, 2020, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported of the motion filed days before the trial is set to start on Monday. The white father-son duo had accused Arbery, who was running when they encountered him, of trespassing onto a property under construction in coastal Georgia’s Satilla Shores community.
Attorneys for the McMichaels said in the motion that Arbery being on probation might explain why he was running and also counter the prosecution’s notion that the McMichaels “only chased after (Arbery) because they were violent racists who did not want a Black man jogging in their mostly-white neighborhood.”
Lead prosecutor Linda Dunikoski, however, maintains that Arbery being on probation “is not relevant, as the defendants did not know Mr. Arbery was on probation.”
She also pointed out that the latest motion from the defense is a regurgitation of a matter the judge already decided on. Months after a Glynn County grand jury indicted the McMichaels—along with William Bryan, who filmed parts of the deadly encounter—the McMichaels’ legal team submitted a notice to introduce “certain other” acts of evidence last December, according to journalist Kailey Tracy. Arbery’s decision to plead guilty after facing charges related to trying to steal a TV from Walmart in 2017 were brought up in reporting of that motion. Superior Court Judge Timothy Walmsley wrote in an order ABC News obtained that evidence of Arbery’s past legal troubles could unfairly “lead the jury to believe that although Arbery did not apparently commit any felony that day, he may pose future dangerousness in that he would eventually commit more alleged crimes, and therefore, the Defendants’ actions were somehow justified.”
They were not, said civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who isn’t involved in criminal proceedings but is representing Arbery’s family. Crump said in a statement responding to the defense’s motion:
“The defense’s attempt to assassinate the character of Ahmaud Arbery just days before the McMichaels’ and Bryan’s trial is set to begin is a cheap and blatant attempt to distract from the concrete facts of this case and the horrific actions of these defendants. It is irrelevant that Ahmaud was on probation when he was murdered because the defendants had no knowledge of that, nor would it be material if they did. What is relevant is that Gregory and Travis McMichael and William Bryan wrongfully and illegally attempted to take the law into their own hands and kill a man while recording it, seemingly for no reason other than sport. The family and our legal team have faith that the court will see through this tactic and deliver Ahmaud and his family justice. If these killers get off without consequence, that sends the message that lynching Black men in 2021 carries no penalty.”
As many as 1,000 prospective Glynn County jurors have been summoned for the trial, the AJC reported.
From Daily Kos at Read More. This article is republished from DailyKos under an open content license. Read the original article at DailyKos.