BRUNSWICK, Ga. – More than 1,000 potential jurors will show up to the Glynn County Courthouse on Monday morning. Twelve people will end up being selected as jurors for the trial against the three men accused of killing Ahmaud Arbery in 2020.
News4Jax spoke with attorney Gene Nichols, who is not affiliated with this case. He says jury selection could take days.
“I’ll be surprised if they pick a jury this week. I think that we’re going to have so many individuals who know too much about this case and have opinions on one side or the other that are so ingrained on the long history of this case, the small community. That it’s going to take several attempts to get a jury,” said Nichols.
Father and son, Gregory and Travis McMichael are both charged. They’re accused of chasing Arbery with weapons while he was jogging through their Satilla Shores neighborhood.
William Bryan, the man who recorded the killing, has been charged with felony murder and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment.
Investigators said Travis McMichael shot Arbery, killing him. Greg McMichael told police he thought Arbery was responsible for break ins in the neighborhood. Their neighbor, William Roddie Bryan, who is also charged, recorded the end of the chase on his cell phone.
Nichols said it will be difficult to find an impartial jury.
“As a criminal defense lawyer, I’m looking for people who are one, open-minded who are also going to be willing to give their opinion. As criminal defense attorneys we say we don’t want sheep in the back. We don’t want people who are just going to follow other people’s leads.”
According to Nichols, the potential juror to worry about is someone who claims they haven’t heard anything about the high-profile case that has gained national attention.
“Anybody that suggests that they don’t know anything about this case is most likely trying to get on this jury. Both the state and the defense need to be very wary of jurors who want to be on this jury because that means that they have a plan or an agenda or some thought that they want to impart on this case,” said Nichols.
Nichols said he would not be surprised if the judge decides to go to a different jurisdiction to pick a jury outside of Glynn County.
The Glynn County Superior Court Clerk Ronal Adams said it could take two weeks or longer to pick a jury.