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No verdict after first day of deliberations in trial for 3 men charged in killing of Ahmaud Arbery

Posted at 4:01 AM, Nov 23, 2021

Day one of deliberations in the trial of three white men charged with killing Ahmaud Arbery ended with no verdict.

Prosecutors seeking murder convictions in the 25-year-old Black man's death wrapped up their legal argument to jurors Tuesday, getting the final word as closing arguments spilled into a second day.

“When three people chase an unarmed man in two pick-up trucks to violate his personal liberty, who gets to claim, 'I'm not really responsible for that?' Under the law in Georgia, no one gets to say that," said lead prosecutor Linda Dunikoski.

Following closing arguments, Superior Court Judge Timothy Walmsley gave legal instructions to the disproportionately white jury before it began deliberations.

Arbery was chased and fatally shot on Feb. 23, 2020, after he was spotted running in a neighborhood outside the Georgia port city of Brunswick.

Father and son Greg and Travis McMichael and neighbor William “Roddie” Bryan are charged with murder.

According to prosecutors, Arbery was jogging when he briefly stopped inside a home under construction.

When Greg and Travis McMichael saw Arbery in the area, they armed themselves and chased after him in a pickup truck because they believed Arbery was responsible for a series of break-ins in the neighborhood.

Video from the incident showed the McMichaels drive up beside Arbery. A struggle followed for a few moments before Travis McMichael fired his gun, and Arbery stumbled to the ground.

Defense attorneys insist the three men committed no crimes and that Travis McMichael only fired his weapon after a "violent encounter" with Arbery.

The defense has also argued that the men were empowered to take Arbery into custody thanks to a since-repealed citizen's arrest law that was in effect at the time of the shooting.

The lead prosecutor in the case says any self-defense argument is moot because she said the defendants were the initial aggressors.