Today begins our live, real-time coverage of the trial proceedings in the Ahmaud Arbery case, in which defendants Greg McMichael, his son Travis McMichael, and neighbor William “Roddy” Bryan are on trial for murder and other felony charges over the death of Ahmaud Arbery.
Today begins jury selection, which will require 12 jurors plus 3 alternates. Currently, by statute, each side has 9 peremptory strikes–but that number might be increased by the trial judge because of the presence of multiple defendants. If the number of strikes is increased, it will be increased for both sides. Jury selection is reportedly going to be sequestered–so it’s unclear to what extent we’ll have live TV coverage of the jury selection process. Indeed, it’s being reported that it’s still unclear if voir dire will be televised.
News reports indicate that 1,000 local residents have been notified that they are subject to possible selection for this trial, 600 of whom will report to the Glynn County courthouse this week, and the remaining 400 next week if required.
News reports are that first agenda item this morning may be the settling of various in limine motions that are still in play, many of which I discussed in my last post on this case: Ahmaud Arbery Case: Seven Facts the Jury Will (Probably) Never Hear.
LIVE VIDEO FEED
The three men had sought to question Arbery as a suspected felony burglary of a home in their community, when Arbery charged Travis McMichael and fought Travis for control of Travis’ firearm. During that altercation Arbery was shot and killed by Travis.
Here’s the video of that final confrontation recorded by William “Roddy” Bryan:
Thanks to the kind sponsorship of Legal Insurrection, I’ll be covering these trial proceedings as they occur, including real-time commenting in standing blog posts as the proceedings occur, as well as end-of-day legal analysis in plain English of the day’s proceedings provided in both a separate written blog post as well as in video form.
We also plan to embed a live stream of each day’s court proceedings in these standing LIVE blog posts, so you can personally observe the proceedings as we live comment upon them.
To refresh your recollection of the charges against the three defendants, the general indictment of the three defendants is embedded immediately below, and includes charges of:
Count 1: Malice murder, under OCGA § 16-5-1.
Count 2: Felony murder, predicated on aggravated assault with firearm (Count 6), under OCGA § 16-5-1.
Count 3: Felony murder predicated on aggravated assault with pickup truck (Count 7), again under OCGA § 16-5-1.
Count 4: Felony murder predicated on false imprisonment (Count 8), again under OCGA § 16-5-1.
Count 5: Felony murder, predicated on attempted false imprisonment (Count 9), again under OCGA § 16-5-1.
Count 6: Aggravated assault with firearm, under OCGA § 16-5-21.
Count 7: Aggravated assault with pickup truck, under OCGA § 16-5-21.
Count 8: False imprisonment, under OCGA § 16-5-41.
Count 9: Attempted false imprisonment, under OCGA § 16-4-1.
Other relevant laws in this case are the Georgia citizens arrest law in effect at the time of Arbery’s attack on Travis McMichael, as well as Georgia’s felony burglary statute, Georgia’s open carry statute, and of course Georgia’s self-defense/justification statute:
Georgia’s citizens arrest statute:
§17-4-60 Grounds for arrest
Georgia’s justification statute (including use of force in making lawful arrest):
Georgia’s felony burglary statute
Home under construction qualifies for felony burglary purposes.
Smith v. State, 226 Ga. App. 9 (GA Ct. App. 1997)
Georgia’s open carry statute:
§ 16-11-126. Having or carrying handguns, long guns, or other weapons; license requirement; exceptions for homes, motor vehicles, private property, and other locations and conditions
And with that, we’re off to the races.
You carry a gun so you’re hard to kill.
Know the law so you’re hard to convict.
Attorney Andrew F. Branca
Law of Self Defense LLC
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