BRUNSWICK, Ga. – As jury deliberations began Tuesday afternoon, Ahmaud Arbery’s mother Wanda Cooper-Jones said she believes all three men will be found guilty of killing her son.
“She presented the evidence very well, I think that we will come back with a guilty verdict,” Cooper-Jones said of prosecutor Linda Dunikoski.
Hours into deliberations, the anxiety was still growing outside the Glynn County Courthouse.
After 10 days of witness testimony, jurors are now charged with returning verdicts on Travis and Gregory McMichael and William Bryan. A nine-count indictment charges all three with one count of malice murder, four counts of felony murder, two counts of aggravated assault, one count of false imprisonment and one count of criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment in connection with the killing of Arbery.
Prosecutors say he was chased and gunned down in the Satilla Shores neighborhood in February of 2020. News4Jax caught up with defense attorney Kevin Gough right after jurors went behind closed doors and asked him how he thought things went.
“I don’t’ want to jinx the process by commenting on it. We’ve got some people working very hard, trying to figure out what justice looks like in this case, so I don’t want to say anything that might interfere with that process,” Gough said.
Defense lawyers said the three men suspected Arbery was a burglar who had been spotted several times on home security video at a house under construction. All three claimed they were trying to conduct a citizen’s arrest, which was legal in the state of Georgia at the time.
Superior Court Judge Timothy Walmsley instructed the jury today that ”a private citizen’s warrantless arrest must occur, immediately after the perpetrations of the offense, or in the case of felonies during the escape.”
The jurors’ decision is now resting on their interpretation of that law and whether Travis McMichael shot Arbery in self-defense. Supporters of Ahmaud Arbery’s family say they are optimistic.
″I kinda feel god because I feel like God will make the thing right, especially when killing a man who is jogging and just minding his own business,” said Brunswick resident Terry McGill.