While we wait for the verdict to be read in court during the federal hate crimes trial of Travis McMichael, Gregory McMichael and William “Roddie” Bryan, here’s a summary of what happened as prosecutors members present their final arguments on Monday.
Prosecutor Christopher J. Perras began concluding by going through some of the evidence presented during the trial and instructing the jury on each of the charges against the defendants.
Perras argued that the defendants’ claims of Ahmaud Arbery trespass were unfounded because there had been other instances of white suspect trespassing in the vicinity of which they were not concerned.
“This is not about trespassing. It’s not about neighborhood crime. It’s about race. Perras said. “All three defendants saw a young black man in their neighborhood and they thought the worst of him.”
Perras did not show the video of Arbery’s pursuit on February 23, 2020. He gave Matt Albenze’s testimony. Satilla Shores resident Albenze testified that he saw Arbery in Larry English’s home on the day of the shooting and called the non-emergency police line. Finally, Perras said Albenze had a clear view of Arbery and described his runs as “long, repetitive runs” and “like he was running in slow motion”.
Perras said Greg McMichael only knew he saw a Black man running down the street and played an audio clip from an interview he did with investigators saying McMichael didn’t know if Arbery had stolen anything or not.
Perras alleges that the defendants lied to police when they said Arbery was caught breaking into the home during an interview with investigators. Perras said the defendants knew what they did was wrong and did what they could to try to get away with the murder.
Perras also reviewed some of the evidence previously presented by the prosecution that he said showed the defendants’ views on race, including Greg McMichael’s Facebook posts, texts and posts by Travis McMichael, and Roddie Bryan’s use of the word “bootlip” in text messages to friends.
The prosecutor said: “The evidence establishes what caused the defendant to be suppressed by racial anger.