Ahmaud Arbery death trial: jury deliberations continue into second day

Jogger's killing became part of reckoning on racial injustice in US after video of his death was 'leaked' online

Jury deliberations resumed for a second day on Wednesday morning in the trial of three white men charged killing Ahmaud Arbery after the 25-year-old black man was spotted running in their coastal Georgia neighbourhood.

The jury requested to review evidence from the trial, including video of the shooting and the 911 call that one of the accused made on February 23, 2020.

“We, the jury, request to see the following videos three times each: one, the original video, the short version. Two, the enhanced high-contrast version. We would also like to listen to the call on to [February 23] made by Greg McMichael,” the request read.

The disproportionately white jury received the case around midday on Tuesday and spent about six hours deliberating before adjourning without a verdict in the trial of father and son Greg and Travis McMichael and their neighbour, William “Roddie” Bryan.

The McMichaels told police they suspected Arbery was a fleeing burglary when they armed themselves and jumped in a pickup truck to chase him.

Mr Bryan joined the pursuit when they passed his house and recorded mobile phone video of the younger Mr McMichael shooting Arbery at close range with a shotgun as Arbery threw punches and grabbed for the weapon.

Arbery's killing became part of a larger national reckoning on racial injustice after the graphic video of his death leaked online two months later and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation took over the case, quickly arresting the three men. Each of them has been charged with murder and other crimes.

Defence lawyers contend the McMichaels were attempting a legal citizen’s arrest when they set off after Arbery, seeking to detain and question him as a suspected burglar after he was seen running from a nearby home under construction.

The younger Mr McMichael gave evidence that he shot Arbery in self-defence, saying the man turned and attacked with his fists while running past the idling truck where Mr McMichael stood with his shotgun.

Prosecutors argued the accused cannot claim self-defence since they initiated the contact while committing a series of felonies against Arbery.

They also said there was no evidence Arbery had committed crimes in the neighbourhood. He had enrolled at a technical college and was preparing at the time to become an electrician like his uncles.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

Updated: November 24th 2021, 3:52 PM
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