Men charged in murder of Ahmaud Arbery denied bond

A Judge Decides if Murder Suspects Will Remain in Jail

GLYNN COUNTY, Ga. — UPDATE 1:10 p.m.:

A judge has denied bond for Travis McMichael and Gregory McMichael, two of three men charged in the murder of Ahmaud Arbery.

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ORIGINAL STORY:

The three men charged in the murder of Ahmaud Arbery appeared in court Thursday to argue for their release from jail, and the hearing continued Friday.

Lawyers for Greg and Travis McMichael say the South Georgia father and son should be out of jail as they wait for the upcoming trial. The third defendant, William “Roddie” Bryan, was denied bond once, but is trying again, WSBTV, Action News Jax’s Atlanta sister station reported.

The goal of Thursday’s hearing for the defense is to let the defendants be granted bond, which would allow Gregory and Travis McMichael to await trial outside of jail.

The father and son have been in jail since their arrest in May after being charged in the murder of 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery.

Arbery was killed while running in the Satilla Shores neighborhood of Brunswick, Georgia.

A viral video released in May shows a confrontation between the McMichaels and Arbery. Bryan, a neighbor, recorded the confrontation and shooting in a car trailing behind.

Thursday, several witnesses close to the McMichaels testified to help make the defense’s case for bond.

A key witness was Allison McMichael, the mother to Travis McMichael and wife to Gregory McMichael.

She told a judge her husband and son will not be a flight risk. She spoke about Travis McMichael being a father and former member of the Coast Guard.

Arbery’s mother, Wanda Cooper, said if the McMichaels are granted bond, she will have less faith in the justice system.

“Those guys are dangerous. And if they get out … they could kill again,” Cooper said.

During testimony, Travis McMichael’s best friend, Zachary Langford, told a judge Travis McMichael expressed remorse after the shooting, saying he wishes it never happened.

Arbery’s mother reacted to the testimony.

“It was heartbreaking to hear. Those guys were out for 74 days. I lived there. No one reached out and said, ‘I am sorry for your loss.’ I do not think they are remorseful at all,” Cooper said.

The state also asked Langford about a text exchange between him and Travis McMichael, reading the message in court:

“Do you remember Travis McMichael shooting a crackhead c**n with gold teeth?” Langford said McMichael was referring to a raccoon.

Several witnesses close to the McMichaels took the stand. Many said they were willing to put up their own homes for the bond.

Prosecutors presented evidence that points to the McMichaels being racist and a threat to the community.

The hearing picks back up Friday at 10 a.m., where a judge could decide if the McMichaels should be granted the opportunity to post bond.

Action News Jax will stream the hearing.

CASE BACKGROUND:

Action News Jax reported earlier that the Georgia Bureau of Investigation announced the arrests of Gregory McMichael and his son Travis McMichael on May 7 on charges of murder and aggravated assault.

The charges stem from an incident on Feb. 23 in the Satilla Shores neighborhood in Brunswick. The GBI said Arbery was confronted by the McMichaels with firearms and during the encounter investigators said Travis McMichael shot and killed Arbery.

A video of the incident was posted online, over a month after Arbery’s death, gaining national attention and reigniting the case. William “Roddie” Bryan, the man who recorded the video, was also arrested on May 21 on charges of felony murder and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment, the GBI said.

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