Glynn County

The killing of Ahmaud Arbery: Seated jury locked in, consists of 11 white jurors, 1 Black juror

BRUNSWICK, Ga. — After nearly three weeks of jury selection for the murder trial of the killing of Ahmaud Arbery, the 12 seated jurors have been selected.

The final selection includes 11 white people and 1 Black person.

Ahmaud Arbery’s mother, Wanda Cooper Jones, said the selection shook her confidence a bit.

LINK: More on the killing of Ahmaud Arbery case and trial

“It was unreal, I can’t put it into words,” she said. “I was very shocked we only had one Black, African American man, it was devastating.”

Jason Sheffield, one of the defense attorneys for Travis McMichael, said it’s been an exhausting process getting to this point.

“We’re very pleased we have been able to select now 16 members of this community, where this community can now decide the pending issues of this indictment, and we truly believe they will do so fairly and keeping what we all understand justice to be about,” he said.

Earlier Wednesday, attorneys were working to narrow down the jury pool to the final 12, when the defense struck 11 of the 12 Black jurors, leaving 1 potential Black juror left in the pool.

Prosecutors felt as if the jurors were struck because of race, but the judge said the defense team gave enough reason to support their decisions and that the prosecution team couldn’t provide more evidence to prove otherwise.

Lee Merritt, with the Arbery family legal team, called this disappointing, but still confident the jury will be able to make what they consider to be the right decision.

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“The qualified jury pool represented a cross-section of the community, actually looked like the Glynn county community. It was the racial bias inserted in the system by the defense team who put their fingers on the scale of justice and created a jury that was more favorable for their defendants, with nearly an almost entirely white jury,” he said.

The judge said motions will be heard in court on Thursday, and the jury will be seated and sworn in on Friday.

Bailey Husker

Bailey Husker, Action News Jax

Bailey Husker is a digital content producer and assignment editor for Action News Jax.

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