Newly obtained body camera footage shows one of the men accused in the death of Ahmaud Arbery admitting to repeatedly trying to block the 25-year-old from getting away.
In May, the attorney for William “Roddie” Bryan – Kevin Gough - said Bryan “did not participate” in the killing of Arbery. But, in a conversation with an investigator on the day of the shooting Bryan said, “I pulled out of our driveway and was going to try to block him.”
GBI investigator Richard Dial testified at the preliminary hearing in the case that the truck Bryan was driving struck Arbery’s body at some point in the pursuit.
In the interview recorded on body camera, Bryan gave investigators the video of the shooting filmed on his cell phone. Bryan also told investigators “If (Arbery) would have stopped to find out what was going on it would’ve never happened,” and added, “Should we have been chasing him? I don’t know.”
Travis McMichael, Greg McMichael and Bryan are all indicted on felony murder charges in the February killing of Arbery. Computer-aided dispatch reports and 911 calls obtained from the Glynn County Police Department show the McMichaels chased Arbery through their Satilla Shore neighborhood for four minutes after seeing him run out of nearby construction site in the neighborhood.
Later, the owner of the construction site, Larry English, told investigators he doesn’t have video or evidence of Arbery stealing anything from his property.
The McMichaels told investigators they believed Arbery was the person seen on surveillance camera entering an open construction home in the neighborhood. Both men say they grabbed guns before leaving their home and began following Arbery in their truck.
In the body camera footage taken minutes after the shooting, Greg McMichael said after seeing their neighbor, Bryan, drive out of his driveway to block Arbery’s path – he and his son drove up to Holmes Road to cut off Arbery.
“He comes around and comes back down here and he’s right here and he starts running past us – and Travis backs up and says ‘hey, stop, stop’ we want to talk to you or something to that effect,” said Greg McMichael to investigators on body camera video.
“Travis gets out with the (expletive) shotgun and runs up there, and I said, ‘Travis don’t. Don’t shoot. Don’t do anything,’ and the guy turns and comes at him and they start wrestling and Travis shoots him right in the chest.”
In the body camera video, Greg McMichael told investigators repeatedly Arbery had been seen on surveillance video before coming out of the construction home. He then told investigators he would have shot Arbery himself.
The body camera footage also captures the investigators attempting to interview Travis McMichael in the minutes following the shooting. Video shows the 34-year-old covered in blood, pacing in the streets of the neighborhood.
“We tried to stop him to talk to him. He took off running. We stopped and come out of the truck. He came running at us. I told him to stop, stop, stop until he hit me. I had nothing to do,” Travis McMichael told investigators on body camera footage.
Interactions between Greg McMichael, a retired district attorney investigator for the Brunswick area, and police officers investigating the crime scene. In one clip, McMichael asks one of the officers if his son – Travis – would be handcuffed. The officer replied: “No, why would he be in handcuffs?”
The video, which was admitted into the record as an exhibit during a bond hearing for the case, is being released as the defense teams for Gregory and Travis McMichael are attempting to appeal Judge Timothy Walmsley’s order denying bond for the two defendants.
The judge’s decision to deny bond – in part – came after state prosecutors played a voicemail recording from Greg McMichael to then-Brunswick District Attorney Jackie Johnson, his former boss, asking for advice on the shooting.
In Judge Walmsley’s order opposing bond, he wrote: “The call itself is remarkable, particularly in light of the Glynn county District Attorney’s ultimate recusal and the course this case took to indictment.”
In the 37-page filing, defense attorneys for the father and son claimed, “The Court nowhere takes into account that Greg McMichael spent his entire 64 years of life in Glynn County.”