Opening statements begin in trial for men charged in death of Ahmaud Arbery
GLYNN COUNT, Ga. - It was a busy first day in a Glynn County courthouse as the jury was sworn in to decide the fate of the defendants in the death of Ahmaud Arbery heard their first witness.
This came after the day started with opening statements from both sides.
"Why are we here? We are here because of the assumptions and driveway decisions," State Prosecutor Linda Dunikoski said during opening statements.
The trial started Friday morning with the jurors being sworn in.
Both sides had their chance to lay out their plans of how they plan to win their case in the eyes of the jury.
"They decide to cut him off. How did they decide to cut him off? With pickup truck. That’s evidence of false imprisonment and aggravated assault with a pickup truck," Dunikoski said.
Dunikoski walked the jury through maps and the timeline which started months before.
"Greg McMichael told the police this: ‘Stop or I will blow your f---ng head off’. He wanted to make sure Ahmaud knew that Greg McMichael wasn’t playing," Dunikoski said.
Travis McMichael (Glynn County Detention Center)
The state also showed jurors the infamous video of the last moments of Ahmaud Arbery’s life.
"Ladies and gentleman Mr. Arbery is under attack by all three of these men," Dunikoski said.
Arbery’s mother could be seen and heard openly weeping during several moments of the trial.
"The video you watched probably five times in the state's opening statement doesn’t even begin to tell the story in this case," Travis McMichael Lawyer Bob Rubin said.
The defense team focused on how the neighborhood was on edge from recent thefts and crimes in the area and claims Arbery was spotted several times on security cameras in the months leading up to the shooting.
"Was he out for a jog at ten at night or was he doing something else? We will never know," Rubin said.
"Greg McMichael was right. The man he saw was the man he suspected," Gregory McMichael Lawyer Franklin Hogue said.
The defense team for William "Roddie" Bryan asked to defer his opening statements until the close of the state’s evidence.
The judge granted that request.
Ahmaud Arbery (Family photo)
After opening statements the state called the first witness to the stand.
They called Officer William Duggan who was one of the first responders on the scene after the shooting.
The state played body camera and dash-camera footage to the jurors.
Some of the footage was graphic showing Arbery’s bloody body in the road.
The defense had a chance to ask questions before the judge recessed for the weekend.
The trial will resume Monday morning at 9 a.m.
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