Jury deliberations were scheduled to resume for a second day Wednesday in the trial of three white men charged with chasing and killing Ahmaud Arbery after the 25-year-old Black man was spotted running in their coastal Georgia neighborhood.
The disproportionately white jury received the case around midday 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 neighbor William “Roddie” Bryan.
Superior Court Judge Timothy Walmsley told jurors to reconvene at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday.
The McMichaels told police they suspected Arbery was a fleeing burglar when they armed themselves and jumped in a pickup truck to chase him on Feb. 23, 2020. Bryan joined the pursuit when they passed his house and recorded cellphone video of Travis McMichael blasting 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 is charged with murder and other crimes.
Defense attorneys 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.
Travis McMichael testified that he shot Arbery in self-defense, saying the running man turned and attacked with his fists while running past the idling truck where Travis McMichael stood with his shotgun.
Prosecutors said there was no evidence Arbery had committed crimes in the defendants’ neighborhood. He had enrolled at a technical college and was preparing at the time to study to become an electrician like his uncles.