Ahmaud Arbery case: Father-son duo charged with murder denied bail, victim's mother says she's 'relieved'
The prosecutors even produced evidence to show the younger McMichael’s racist past, involving racial slurs shared online and text messages
Two of three suspects charged in the killing of Black man Ahmaud Arbery have been denied bond by the judges, according to latest reports. The father and son duo appeared for their bond hearing on Thursday, November 12, and Friday, November 13, in Glynn County in Georgia through a video conference.
The 64-year-old Gregory McMichael and 34-year-old Travis McMichael have been facing malice and felony murder charges after shooting Arbery to death while he was jogging on February 23. Meanwhile, the third suspect, Wiliam “Roddy” Bryan, a friend of Travis, has also been denied bond by a Chatham County Superior Court judge.
The judgment came following a two day-hearing, during which prosecutor Jesse Evans played a voicemail that the elder McMichael left for his former boss Jackie Johnson after Arbery was murdered. He was heard saying, "Jackie, this is Greg. Could you call me as soon as you possibly can? My (inaudible) and I been involved in a shooting and I need some advice right away. Could you please call me, as soon as you possibly can? Thanks. Bye,” according to CNN.
The prosecutor further established that the voice mail was the evidence to prove that Gregory intended to use his connections and influence in law enforcement to manipulate the case.
After their bonds were denied, Arbery’s mother Wanda Cooper-Jones said that she took some “solace” in it. "I'm relieved they'll stay behind bars. Today was a good day," she said. She is believed to have read an emotional statement in the court a day earlier, which stated, "In the name of justice, decency and fairness, please keep these men behind bars until they can answer for what they did. Ahmaud wasn't allowed to go home. Ahmaud wasn't even allowed the chance to live."
None of the three White men were charged or arrested until May 7, two days after the Georgia Bureau of Investigation took over the case. The father and son were taken into custody and charged with aggravated assault and murder. And three days later, Bryan was charged. Furthermore, the GBI is conducting an investigation into the handling of the case by local prosecutors.
During the recent hearing, the prosecutors even produced evidence to show the younger McMichael’s racist past, involving racial slurs shared online and text messages. Meanwhile, both Gregory and Travis’s attorneys have urged the judge to set bonds saying the case was in no way related to the fact that Arbery was a Black.
Laura Hogue, who represents Gregory said, "This case isn't about race, your honor. This case in the indictment is about whether or not the private citizen's arrest law... allowed Greg McMichael to do what he chose to do that day, for the sole purpose of defending his family, and his property and his community.”
Robert Rubin, representing Travis' attorney said, "He's proven that by always being employed, paying his taxes, never getting in trouble, never confronting people unless he himself is put in danger. And that was one time, by one man, named Ahmaud Arbery. And actually, Mr Arbery confronted him twice.”