Original story posted at 10am est - Tuesday, November 23, 2021
We could soon learn the fates of the 3 white men charged with chasing down and killing Ahmaud Arbery. The murder trial for the trio is winding down as the prosecution delivers its final rebuttal this morning following closing arguments that started Monday. The jury of 11 whites and 1 black could get the case this afternoon.
Presenting Arbery as a criminal has been the ongoing purpose of the defense. Travis McMichael, Greg McMichael, and William "Roddie" Bryan are charged with malice and felony murder in the death of Arbery on February 23, 2020. They say they'd suspected Arbery of burglary and were attempting to make a citizen's arrest.
Defense lawyer Laura Hogue went so far as to tell jurors Monday, "Turning Ahmaud Arbery into a victim after the choices that he made does not reflect the reality of what brought Ahmaud Arbery to Satilla Shores in his khaki shorts with no socks to cover his long, dirty toenails." Hogue was referring to wording from the autopsy which reported the condition of Arbery's toenails.
Saying "I gotta get out of here", Arbery's mother Wanda Cooper-Jones left the courtroom following Hogue's comment. Cooper-Jones, speaking on the steps of the Glynn County courthouse, said "I thought that was just flat out rude," adding, "regardless of what kind of toenails he had, that was still my son, and he was running for his life."
Linda Dunikoski with the Cobb County District Attorney's office, and lead prosecutor in the case, maintains that Arbery was targeted "because he was a black man running down the street."