Attorneys for 2 Georgia men charged v chasing and also killing Ahmaud Arbery room requesting a judge"s approval to use unflattering proof from the slain man"s past


BRUNSWICK, Ga. -- Attorneys for a white father and also son charged through chasing and killing Ahmaud Arbery asked a referee Wednesday to allow evidence that the slain black color man"s past problems to it is in presented as soon as their clients stand trial because that murder.

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Four regulation enforcement policemans took the witness was standing at a pretrial hearing and also detailed front encounters v Arbery, including two arrests, that defense lawyers ultimately want a jury come hear. They additionally sought permission come introduce proof Arbery suffered from a psychological illness.

“They"re trying to do it like he"s top top trial,” the slain man"s father, Marcus Arbery Sr., called reporters exterior the Glynn ar courthouse. “But he ain"t.”

Prosecutors argued that Arbery"s criminal record and other prior problems should be kept out that the trial, saying they space irrelevant to the defendants" decision to eight themselves and ultimately shoot a man who to be trying to operation away.

Travis McMichael and also his father, Greg McMichael, sought the 25-year-old in a pickup van after lock spotted him running in their community Feb. 23, 2020. A neighbor, wilhelm “Roddie” Bryan, joined the chase and also took cellphone video clip of Travis McMichael shoot Arbery three times at close selection with a shotgun.

Defense attorneys argue the three guys committed no crimes. They say the McMichaels doubt Arbery to be a burglar after the was taped by video clip cameras within a home under construction. Travis McMichael"s lawyers to speak he shot Arbery in self-defense.

Prosecutors to speak nothing to be stolen from the building and construction site and also Arbery was merely jogging.

Jason Sheffield, one of Travis McMichael"s lawyers, told superior Court referee Timothy Walmsley ~ above Wednesday that Arbery"s past arrests and also other incidents include not just “theft crimes.” He claimed they also show Arbery — when challenged by police or various other authority numbers — would come to be “angry and also aggressive, physically and verbally.”

“His intent and also his motive is something that is central to this case,” Sheffield said.

Prosecutor Linda Dunikoski suggested Arbery"s past had no bearing ~ above the McMichaels" decision to pursue him because they knew nothing around him before the fatal chase.

“It doesn"t issue what Mr. Arbery"s thoughts were... That doesn"t matter what his actions were," Dunikoski said. “He was running away from this men.”

Attorneys because that the McMichaels want the jury come know about several incidents from Arbery’s past, including that he was on probation at the moment he to be killed.

Arbery pleaded guilty to charges he lugged a gun ~ above a high college campus in 2013, a year after that graduated. Rodney Ellis, police chief because that the Glynn County institution system, testified in ~ Wednesday"s hearing the Arbery tried come evade police officers on foot and also stopped only as soon as two of them pointed firearms at him.

Officer Robert Mydell the Glynn ar police testified around Arbery"s 2017 arrest ~ above charges that he tried to steal a TV native a Walmart store. Court records display he pleaded guilty to shoplifting.

Two other police officers testified they recalled encounters v Arbery, saying he became angry as soon as questioned. That was no charged with crimes in either instance. And a neighborhood convenience keep manager, crystal Wilson, told the judge about a young Black male who number of times stole food. Wilson said she well-known it was Arbery after seeing his photograph in the newspaper ~ his death.

The referee did not ascendancy on that proof Wednesday, instead asking both political parties to submit composed briefs in ~ 20 to 40 days.

The judge and also lawyers plan to back to court Thursday to delve deeper into whether Arbery"s mental health can be pertinent to the case. Sheffield stated jurors should be enabled to decision whether mental illness may have played a function in Arbery “engaging in hand-to-hand combat” v Travis McMichael before he was shot.

Dunikoski stated defense attorneys are essentially seeking to tell a jury: "Mr. Arbery wasn’t right, he had some mental issues ... Therefore it’s his error they had actually to death him.”

The judge chose not to hear testimony Wednesday ~ above Arbery"s psychological health, express concern around discussing private clinical records in open court.

All three guys are charged with malice murder and also other counts. Jury selection is scheduled to start Oct. 18 in Brunswick, around 70 mile (112 kilometers) south of Savannah.

The case sparked a national outcry during a year of protests end killings the unarmed black color people. The Justice department on April 28 added hate crime charges against the McMichaels and Bryan, who all pleaded not guilty to the commonwealth counts before a U.S. Magistrate judge Tuesday.

Prosecutors request the judge to collection aside till the attempt a legal activity on even if it is jurors might see text messages and social media articles they compete show a lack of “racial gendergeek.orgodwill” by all three defendants. They incorporate a text post exchange from 2019 in i m sorry Travis McMichael twice offers a racist slur for black color people.

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Dunikoski called the judge Wednesday prosecutors only intend to usage that evidence “if it becomes relevant" throughout the trial.