BRUNSWICK, Georgia (AP) – The trial for the murder of Ahmaud Arbury is expected to continue on Wednesday.
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The man who initiated the chase that ended in the death of Ahmaud Arbury quickly changed his story about why he suspected the 25-year-old black man running through his area was the culprit, two police officers revealed on Tuesday.
Glynn County Police Officer Jeff Brandebury told the jury that Greg McMichael – one of three white men accused of murder – first told him that Arbury had been caught by security cameras “breaking into all these houses here.”
“Well, he often drives around the neighborhood, and every third or fourth night he is caught by video cameras and no one can catch him,” said McMichael Brandebury, who read the transcript of the recorded conversation at an open meeting. the camera of his body.
The officer said he spoke to McMichael at the scene of the shooting when Arbury’s body lay under a sheet on a nearby road as police first responded on February 23, 2020.
McMichael’s story changed when he spoke to a Glynn County detective at the police station late that day. While he initially accused the murdered man of breaking into several houses, McMichael told Detective Parker Marcy that the attacker had targeted one house – the one still under construction, with no doors or windows.
Marcy testified that McMichael told him that he saw “two or three videos” showing “this guy breaks into this house, is or wanders around it.”
Greg McMichael; his adult son Travis McMichael; and neighbor William “Roddy” Brian are charged with murder and other crimes related to Arbury’s death. The Glynn County police never arrested them. Instead, the charges were brought more than two months later when footage of the shooting from a cell phone was leaked and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation took over the case. The video sparked outrage amid national recognition of racial injustice.
Prosecutors say the men had no legal reason to pursue Arbury with weapons, as there is no evidence that Arbury committed any crimes in the Satilla Shores unit outside the port city of Brunswick.
Prosecutor Linda Dunikoski showed the jury a video surveillance camera from the inside of a house under construction, made shortly before the fatal chase. Arbury can be seen wandering around the interior with open frames, but nothing seems to be touching. He ran after a neighbor who called the police outside.
“Do you see him taking or stealing anything from this place?” Dunikoski asked Marcy.
The detective replied, “No, ma’am.”
Defense lawyers say the defendants had reason to suspect Arbury was a robber.
Franklin Hogue, Greg McMichael’s attorney, noted that in the same interview in which his client told the detective that Arbury had entered a house under construction, he also said that there were “lots of cars and break-ins in other parts of the area.”
“Logic suggests it might be this guy,” said Greg McMichael, according to the transcript.
Greg McMichael said the chase began when he saw Arbury “dragging his butt” past his house on Sunday afternoon. Saying that he recognized Arbury from the CCTV footage shown to him by an uncharged neighbor, he rushed inside and grabbed a .357 magnum pistol. Travis McMichael armed himself with a shotgun before they followed Arbury in a pickup truck.
Brian joined the chase in his own truck and recorded a video of Travis McMichael shooting Arbury at close range.
Defense lawyers say Travis McMichael opened fire in self-defense. Brandebury testified that Greg McMichael told him at the scene: “He attacked my son. He attacked him. He tried to get the damn shotgun out.
Marcy testified that Greg McMichael said he armed himself because he suspected that Arbury might have stolen a pistol from his son’s truck a few weeks earlier, although he admitted he had no evidence. The detective said that he asked if the videos of Arbury in the building under construction showed that he was lifting or taking something.
“You know as far as I can remember,” Greg McMichael replied, according to an interview transcript that the detective read out in court. “I don’t think this guy really stole anything from there, and if he did, it was early in the process. But he comes back to this damn house again and again. “
On Tuesday, jurors saw several photographs taken by police after the shooting of Travis McMichael, who had Arbury’s blood on his arms and hands, and had splashes on his shirt, face and neck.
Brandebury said Greg McMichael also had blood on his left arm, which he told police to check for weapons after the shooting, when Arbury fell facedown in the street with one hand tucked under him.
Greg McMichael later told police that he yelled at Arbury during the chase when a running man ignored the demands of the people in the truck telling him to stop.
“I said,“ Wait, ”you know,“ I’ll rip your damn head off, ”or something like that,” he told Marcy. “I was trying to convey to this guy that we are not playing, you know?”