BRUNSWICK, Ga. — The three men who are facing murder charges in the killing of Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia appeared in court Wednesday.
During the pre-trial motion hearings, the judge considered whether or not to allow unflattering evidence from Arbery’s past during the trial.
The defendants’ lawyers want the jury to know the slain man was on probation when he was killed, while prosecutors say that it's irrelevant.
The hearings may last two days. Wednesday’s hearing began around 10 a.m. ET and lasted several hours.
Travis McMichael, Greg McMichael and William “Roddie” Bryan, all white men, are accused of chasing and fatally shooting Arbery, a Black man, while he was running in their neighborhood in February of 2020. The 25-year-old victim was not armed.
The McMichaels and Bryan are all three being charged with malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, false imprisonment, and criminal attempt to commit a felony.
Prosecutors argue the men targeted Arbery because he was Black.
Attorneys for the defendants claim the men committed no crimes and say they suspected Arbery was a burglar, and that Travis McMichael shot him in self-defense.
A judge has scheduled the trial for the three defendants for October.
Along with the charges filed by the state against the defendants, the Department of Justice has also filed federal charges against the men, including hate crime charges. The suspects pleaded not guilty to those Tuesday.
The killing of Arbery was one of a handful of fatal shootings that sparked national outcry and led to protests around the country last year, demanding racial justice.