MACON, Ga. – Attorneys for a former Glynn County district attorney investigator charged with murder called the death of Ahmaud Arbery a tragedy, but said Friday they are confident that once all of the facts come out, Gregory McMichael will never be convicted in this case.
“The truth will reveal this is not just another act of violent racism. Gregory McMichael did not commit murder. Gregory McMichael is not a party to the crime of murder,” said Frank Hogue, who, along with his wife and partner, Laura Hogue, are defending the 64-year-old.
“The how and the why of (Arbery’s death) simply cannot be shoehorned into the narrative that has been told so far,” Frank Hogue said.
“We know several other critically important facts. Those facts point to a very different narrative than the ones that brings you all here today," Laura Hogue said at a news conference outside their Macon law practice.
McMichael along with his son, Travis McMichael, are both charged with felony murder and aggravated assault in the Feb. 23 shooting death of Arbery. On Thursday, the son’s attorneys also expressed confidence that their client would not be found guilty.
The Hogues said details will come out during preliminary and bond hearings, but the whole truth will come out in a court of law in front of a jury.
“We invited you here today in order to implore you and the public to show the respect for our process of criminal law, respect that it deserves to allow this case, all in the courtroom, over time,” Frank Hogue said.
Among the issues the Hogues planned to address was that the father and son face the same charges even though the police investigation, the autopsy and video of the incident all indicate that the shots that killed Arbery were fired by a shotgun carried Tavis McMichael.
According to an incident report by Glynn County police, Gregory McMichael, said he and his son armed themselves and chased Arbery in a pickup truck after seeing him run down their street. Gregory McMichael told police he suspected Arbery was a burglar and said he attacked Travis McMichael before he was shot in a struggle over the gun.
Video provided to police at the time showed that the McMichaels’ pickup truck was stopped ahead of Arbery as he was running in Satilla Stores and the first shot was fired before Arbery rounded the pickup, reached Travis McMichael and began to struggle.
The McMichaels were not arrested and charged until two days after both the video of the shooting was posted on social media and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation were asked to take over the investigation of Arbery’s death.
Arbery’s mother said Wednesday that she has confidence in the investigation now that the GBI has taken it over and a new independent prosecutor has been appointed. She said she would like prosecutors to seek the death penalty.