AP featured image
This photo combo of images taken Thursday, May 7, 2020, and provided by the Glynn County Detention Center, in Georgia, show Gregory McMichael, left, and his son Travis McMichael. The two have been charged with murder in the February shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery, whom they had pursued in a truck after spotting him running in their neighborhood. (Glynn County Detention Center via AP)

 

Gregory and Travis McMichael, the father and son accused of killing Ahmaud Arbery, in the Brunswick, Georgia area are hoping to convince the court to grant them bond and to drop two of the charges levied against them. This development comes only a few weeks after William “Roddie” Bryan was denied bail. 

Attorneys representing the son, Travis McMichael, 34, argued that he is an “excellent candidate for low bond.” They pointed out that he had never been charged with a crime before this case. His legal team also noted that he has a 3-year-old son who he sees every other week. “Travis is an extremely devoted father who dotes” on his son, according to his attorneys. 

The younger McMichael’s legal team also asserted that he is not a flight risk since he has lived in that community since he was a child. They also pointed out that he does not possess a passport “and most importantly, his family, including his parents and three-year-old son are here in Georgia.” 

The attorneys also argued for the release of Gregory McMichael on bond, stating that he “meets the conditions for pretrial release on reasonable bond.” The lawyers requested that the court set a hearing within 20 days. 

Both McMichaels and their neighbor, William “Roddie” Bryan face charges of malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, false imprisonment, and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment. All three men have pleaded not guilty to all charges. 

The incident began when Travis and Gregory McMichael saw 24-year-old Arbery running past their house. They grabbed their guns and pursued him in their truck, believing him to be a suspect in a series of break-ins despite the lack of evidence. Bryan joined the chase after seeing the McMichaels pursuing Arbery. 

The footage, which was recorded by Bryan, shows the conclusion of the chase, at which point Arbery charged at the younger McMichael, grabbing his shotgun after having been pursued and even struck by Bryan’s car. Travis shot Arbery three times, killing him. According to Bryan, the younger McMichael called Arbery the N-word after the shooting.

Attorneys for all three suspects are seeking to have the charges of malice murder and criminal attempt to commit a felony dropped. They argued that the malice murder count “charges two crimes in one count, making it duplicitous.” 

The attorneys make the same argument for the criminal attempt to commit a felony count. They asserted that it “alleges both a completed crime — ‘unlawfully chase Ahmaud Arbery in pickup trucks’ and an attempted crime ‘attempt to confine and detain Ahmaud Arbery without legal authority on Burford Road using Ford F150 pickup truck and Chevy Silverado pickup truck.” 

It seems probable that the court will deny the McMichael bail just as they did with Bryan. The trial date for all three suspects has not yet been set, but this will likely be a high-profile case as it is the first that kicked off a summer of heightened racial tensions and nationwide protesting and rioting. 

However, Arbery’s case is different in that it does not involve police brutality. However, the information that emerged about the case during the preliminary hearings indicates that racial motivation could have played a part in this incident. Moreover, the poor handling of the matter by the city’s government has placed officials under close scrutiny by the state’s law enforcement agency. 

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