3 suspects in Arbery killing will go before a judge this week

Gregory McMichael (left top), Travis McMichael (center top), Ahmaud Arbery (right), William...
Gregory McMichael (left top), Travis McMichael (center top), Ahmaud Arbery (right), William “Roddie” Bryan Jr. (bottom)(WRDW)
Published: Jun. 1, 2020 at 4:56 AM EDT
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Monday, June 1, 2020

Later this week, the three men charged with Ahmaud Arbery's death will appear before a judge.

Thursday will be the first time prosecutors and investigators will lay out some of the evidence against them in a Glynn County courtroom.

Arbery was fatally shot Feb. 23 when a white father and son armed themselves and pursued the 25-year-old black man after they spotted him running in their neighborhood outside the coastal Georgia city of Brunswick.


More than two months passed before Gregory McMichael and his son, Travis McMichael, were charged with murder and aggravated assault. One of the McMichaels’ neighbors, William “Roddie” Bryan Jr., was


The McMichaels told police they believed Arbery — who has family ties to the CSRA and is buried near Waynesboro — was responsible for break-ins in their neighborhood. Arbery’s family says he was an avid runner who was out on a jog.

The warrant said Bryan attempted to block and detain Arbery with his car without legal authority, leading to a charge of criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment.

The three men are each charged with underlying felonies, and state law allows investigators to charge them with felony murder since Arbery died during the alleged felonies.

The U.S. Justice Department is reportedly


Prosecution on a hate crime requires proving that the motivating factor in Arbery’s death was race. A spokesperson for the Department of Justice did not rule out other charges in a statement earlier this month.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation also is conducting an investigation into possible misconduct by the offices of the district attorneys of the Brunswick and Waycross Judicial Circuits.

They initially handled the case.

Gregory McMichael is a former Glynn County police officer who later worked 20 years as an investigator for the local district attorney's office. He retired a year ago.

Glynn County District Attorney Johnson recused herself from the case because the elder McMichael had worked under her. District Attorney George Barnhill of the neighboring Waycross Judicial Circuit stepped aside about a month later because his son works for Johnson as an assistant prosecutor.

Prosecutor Tom Durden got the case in mid-April and was ultimately replaced as prosecutor by Cobb County District Attorney Joyette M. Holmes.

The preliminary hearing for the McMichaels and Bryan is set to begin at 9:30 a.m. Thursday in Glynn County Magistrate Court.