BRUNSWICK, Ga. – Protestors on Wednesday at the Glynn County Courthouse demanded the three men accused of murder in the death of Ahmaud Arbery stay in jail.
Dozens of demonstrators – led by Arbery’s family – marched through the streets of downtown Brunswick yelling “no bond” for the men: Gregory McMichael, 64, Travis McMichael, 34, and William “Roddie” Bryan. All three are scheduled to go before a judge for a bond hearing Thursday.
The former high school football player was killed in the Satilla Shores neighborhood on February 23. Video of the deadly shooting - published by a local radio station - sparked nationwide protests. Less than 48 hours after the video emerged, GBI investigators arrested Travis and Greg McMichael.
Court records allege Travis McMichael made a threatening Facebook post regarding thefts in the Satilla Shores neighborhood before the deadly shooting. GBI investigators testified that when Greg McMichael – a former district attorney investigator – saw Arbery, he and his son armed themselves, then got in a truck and began to chase Arbery on a public street, and the two did not call 911.
Investigators testify that with the help of their neighbor, Bryan, the McMichaels trapped Arbery in their neighborhood, only calling 911 seconds before Travis McMichael shot the 25-year-old three times with a 12-guage shotgun.
In a bombshell admission during the pretrial hearing, a GBI investigator testified that Travis McMichael was overheard using a racial slur at Arbery immediately after shooting Arbery, but before Glynn County police officers arrived.
State prosecutors with the Cobb County District Attorney’s Office filed a notice in October informing the court that they wanted to present “racial” videos and text messages authored by the McMichaels and Bryan.
“The purpose of going into some of the evidence that we acquired with them, particularly from social media and from text messages is to show that there is an active investigation, which is public, by the Department of Justice into potential civil rights crimes,” said Jesse Evans, the lead prosecutor in the Arbery case. “That becomes important because any evidence that we found that tends to support that might be considered by the court as to whether there’s a risk of committing new crimes or risk of flight.”
In court filings, the defense teams for the McMichaels said the text messages and posts were “irrelevant” and “wholly unrelated” to the McMichaels being released on bond.
The attorneys are also seeking to get some of the charges in the indictment against the McMichael’s dropped by a judge, including the malice murder and false imprisonment charges against the men.