Travis McMichael is testifying in his own defense in the murder trial over the February 2020 killing of Ahmaud Arbery on Thursday, with lead prosecutor Linda Dunikoski cross-examining him.
The prosecution rested its case on Tuesday.
“I want to give my side of the story,” McMichael said on Wednesday, telling the court that he wanted to explain what happened from his point of view.
McMichael is one of three defendants in the case; all are facing murder charges.
What are the charges McMichael faces?
A grand jury indicted Gregory and Travis McMichael and William Bryan on nine criminal counts in Georgia state court, including felony murder, aggravated assault and false imprisonment.
The June 2020 indictment accuses the men of using their pickup trucks to chase and assault Arbery before killing him with a 12-gauge shotgun.
Who are the defendants in the case?
Gregory McMichael, 65, worked in law enforcement for decades, including a long stint as an investigator for the district attorney’s office in Brunswick. After spotting Arbery, McMichael later told police, he grabbed his .357 Magnum pistol and told his son, “Travis, the guy is running down the street. Let’s go.”
Travis McMichael, 35, shot and killed Arbery with a 12-gauge shotgun after chasing him in his Ford F-150 pickup. He is a former member of the Coast Guard.
William “Roddie” Bryan, 52, is the neighbor who jumped into his Chevrolet Silverado pickup to help chase Arbery. He used his cellphone to record video of the final moments of the confrontation.
Ten weeks passed between Arbery’s death and the first arrests in the case, after a video of the killing became public.
Who are the judge, prosecutors and defense?
Superior Court Judge Timothy Walmsley is presiding over the trial at the Glynn County Courthouse. The Eastern Judicial Circuit judge was given the case after all five judges in the Brunswick Judicial Circuit recused themselves. Walmsley was appointed to the bench in February 2012.
Lead prosecutor Linda Dunikoski is the senior assistant district attorney in Cobb County, outside of Atlanta. She was put in charge of the case in April, after two local prosecutors recused themselves.
Defense attorney Kevin Gough of Brunswick has represented Bryan since his arrest. Attorney Jessica Burton of Atlanta is also on Bryan’s defense team.
Defense attorneys Robert Rubin and Jason Sheffield represent Travis McMichael. They’re from the same Atlanta-area law firm.
Defense attorneys Laura and Franklin Hogue, who are married, represent Greg McMichael. They’re based in Macon, Ga., where they’ve handled numerous death-penalty cases in the past.
Along with the state charges, a federal grand jury indicted the McMichaels and Bryan on hate crime charges in April.
The federal charges also include the attempted kidnapping of Arbery, and the McMichaels are charged with using firearms during a violent crime. A February trial date has been slated for those charges.
Source: News : NPR