FRONT PAGE: The State Of Georgia Rests Its Case In Trial Of Three Men Accused Of Killing Ahmaud Arbery – CNN

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Three White men — Gregory McMichael, his son Travis McMichael and their neighbor William “Roddie” Bryan Jr. — are accused of chasing down and killing Arbery, a 25-year-old Black man who was out for a jog on February 23, 2020, in the Satilla Shores neighborhood, just outside the city of Brunswick, in Georgia’s low country.

Arbery’s family has said he was out for a jog when he was shot and killed. Defense attorneys contend their clients were trying to conduct a lawful citizen’s arrest of Arbery, and Travis McMichael shot Arbery in self-defense as they wrestled over Travis’ shotgun. The jury heard transcripts from the three accused. They also saw clips from cell phone video and a frame by frame showing of the video.

Without the jury present on Tuesday, Bryan testified about the conditions of where he has been held since he was arrested last year, as part of his defense’s reconsideration motion regarding a speedy trial. Bryan stated that he was being held in a protective unit of the jail, with no access to outside recreation or showers. He also claimed that he had been living in fear since the pandemic.

The judge denied the motion.

Jurors hear from forensic pathologist who conducted autopsy

Earlier Tuesday, the state called several witnesses, all employed by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI), to help explain evidence in the case entered into record.

Among them was Assistant Special Agent in Charge Richard Dial, the lead GBI investigator, who testified on the timeline of events in the case, once the state was requested to conduct an investigation on May 5, 2020.

Prosecutors presented maps showing the path traveled by Arbery and the defendants on the day of the shooting and showed the jury drone videos, taken by the GBI, of the area where the shooting happened, with Dial explaining what the drone video showed as it played in court.

Jurors also heard from GBI forensic pathologist Dr. Edmund Donoghue — the man who performed Arbery’s autopsy — detailed Arbery’s injuries as jurors saw graphic photos from the examination.

Donoghue’s autopsy report from April 2020 did not detail the order in which Arbery’s gunshot wounds happened. He testified Tuesday that he was able to do so now because he combined the autopsy with Bryan’s widely seen cell-phone video. In the video, Travis McMichael and Arbery can be seen wrestling with each other over the firearm prior to the shooting.

Though three shots were fired, only the first and third struck Arbery, Donoghue testified. The first not only grazed his right wrist — hitting an artery and causing severe bleeding — but also struck his center chest, he said.

The third shot struck his left chest and armpit, hitting his axillary vein and axillary artery, Donoghue testified.

While a tourniquet could have remedied the wrist injury, nothing could be done on scene to save Arbery’s life after either of the torso wounds, Donoghue said.

Prosecuting attorney Linda Dunikoski asked whether Arbery’s first set of injuries — the wrist and chest being hit by the same shot — could be “consistent with someone pushing a shotgun away from them” or “consistent with someone maybe grabbing the shotgun. “

“Donoghue replied to both questions.

Donoghue testified he initially thought the distance between the gun and Arbery’s body was 3 to 4 feet when the gun fired, because he had not yet seen the cell phone video. However, having seen the video, he now believes the distance was 3 to 20 inches, or “close-range to near-contact. “

That dovetails with testimony from Monday, when a GBI firearms examiner testified Arbery was shot at close range.

The final shot effectively paralyzed Arbery’s left arm because it injured a complex of nerves. Donoghue pointed to video of Arbery’s hand, which had rotated to a position that indicates “Erb’s Palsy,” the type of nerve injury Donoghue said Arbery suffered.

In cross-examination Donoghue said he could see Arbery holding the shotgun in still frames from the video.

He testified that even though the gunshot had left him with a broken wrist and chest, Arbery could still hold the gun in one hand, hitting Travis McMichael the other. This was based on the video evidence.

An autopsy report, written by Donoghue, lists the manner of death as “homicide.” According to the report, Arbery died from multiple gunshot wounds sustained in a struggle for his shotgun.

Thirteen shotgun pellets exited Arbery’s back, and 11 more were recovered from his wounds, the report says.

Defense attorney files motion about who appears in public gallery

Kevin Gough, the attorney for Bryan who apologized last week for arguing “we don’t want any more Black pastors coming in here” to potentially influence the jury, again raised concern Tuesday about who is allowed in the courtroom’s public gallery during trial.

Gough’s string of complaints began last week after the Rev. Al Sharpton joined Arbery’s parents and held their hands to pray together during a break in court proceedings. Gough again objected Monday when civil rights leader, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, a supporter of the Arbery family, made his first appearance in courtroom gallery.

Gough told the court Tuesday morning — before jurors entered the courtroom for the day — he had filed a paper motion “to prohibit any further conduct that may intimidate or influence jurors, otherwise interfere with a fair trial.

‘ It raises the same questions, possibly with more authority than those raised before,” Gough said.

Gough indicated the motion would raise the issue of whether the court should keep a record of who is in the courtroom.

Gough asked Monday’s judge for an order to a court employee to keep a record of who was in the courtroom so that jurors could view it in the event of any of the defendants being convicted or appealed. Monday’s motion was denied by the judge.

On Tuesday morning, the judge stated that the court was “working through all the issues” and would “get you the court’s ruling as soon as possible.” The full motion was not immediately available.

Jackson visits courthouse for second day

Jackson spent a short time Wednesday in the courthouse’s overflow room before speaking to reporters outside, alongside Arbery’s father.

Having been in the courtroom on Monday, Jackson wanted to support the family without becoming a distraction, a source close to Jackson told CNN.

Outside the courthouse Tuesday, Jackson said Arbery’s family “has withstood lots of pain,” and the details and pictures displayed in court were “a lot to take. “

Sharpton has a rally and a march planned for Thursday, and Jackson has said he plans to be in court during the week.

Monday, Judge Timothy Walmsley said the court’s position — not making any blanket rules over attendance as long as everyone is respectful in court — had not changed. He said to Gough, “It’s almost like you’re trying to continue with this for other purposes than just bringing the court’s attention.”

Walmsley on Monday called some of Gough’s previous comments “reprehensible” and stressed to all the attorneys their words were having an impact. He said that they should understand that their words had an impact on “a lot” of the current events.

Previous testimony

The McMichaels, according to their attorneys, were trying to conduct a citizens arrest on Arbery, whom they suspected of burglary after neighbors became concerned about people entering an under-construction home.

The confrontation came minutes after a neighbor called police to say Arbery was at the under-construction home alone that afternoon. Gregory McMichael, investigators testified, said he initiated the pursuit after seeing Arbery run speedily by McMichael’s home, and he believed Arbery matched the description of someone who’d been recorded at the construction site before.

However, prosecution witnesses have testified McMichael did not know at the time of the chase that Arbery was at the site that day, or whether the man in the surveillance videos had ever taken anything from the construction site.

The prosecution has said videos do show Arbery at the site multiple times, including the day he was killed, but always without breaking in and without incident.

The owner of the under-contstruction home, Larry English Jr., testified in a September deposition — played for jurors last week — that he “probably” had told the McMichaels about incidents on his property. But English said he never authorized the McMichaels to confront anybody on the construction site.

Bryan, who joined the McMichaels’ chase in his own vehicle, recorded cell phone video of the pursuit and shooting. Prosecutors contend he struck Arbery with his vehicle during the pursuit. The defendants are also facing charges for malice and felony killing, as well as false imprisonment, aggravated assault and criminal attempt to do a crime. All of the defendants have pleaded guilty. Each man could spend life in prison if convicted.

CNN’s Amir Vera, Travis Caldwell, Joe Sutton, Jason Morris, Ryan Young, Pamela Kirkland and Orlando Ruiz contributed to this report.

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