A day before Arbery’s birthday, trial scheduled in his killing

Published: May. 7, 2021 at 2:31 PM EDT|Updated: May. 7, 2021 at 4:27 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. - A day before Ahmaud Arbery’s birthday, a judge decided on a trial date for three white men charged with killing the Black jogger.

Superior Court Judge Timothy Walmsley issued a notice Friday stating jury selection will begin Oct. 18.

A father and son, Gregory and Travis McMichael, and their neighbor William “Roddie” Bryan are charged with murder after the 25-year-old Black man was chased and fatally shot while running in their neighborhood.

All three have pleaded not guilty to the state charges and also have been indicted on federal hate crime charges.

The killing outside the port city of Brunswick sparked a national outcry and fueled protests against the slaying of Black people by white police officers. Gregory McMichael is a former police officer, and the case wasn’t prosecuted until the Georgia Bureau of Investigation got involved weeks after it happened.

Attorneys for the accused men insist they committed no crimes, saying they suspected Arbery was a burglar and that he was shot as he tried to grab Travis McMichael’s gun. Supporters of the McMichaels have argued the pursuit of Arbery was a citizen’s arrest, leading to changes in the state’s citizen’s arrest law. The new law will be signed Monday by Gov. Brian Kemp.

Arbery, who has family ties to the CSRA and is buried near Waynesboro, was not armed.

Saturday would have been Arbery’s birthday, and a moment of silence will be observed for him at 5 p.m. Saturday at the end of a voting rights rally in the Seventh Street parking lot of the James Brown Arena in Augusta.

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