Man who filmed Ahmaud Arbery getting shot dead by father-son duo admits he tried to block jogger several times
William Roddie Bryan, held on murder and related charges, had initially told news outlets that he was simply a witness to the incident and had no part in it
A man who filmed the bone-chilling alleged murder of Ahmaud Arbery has reportedly admitted to the authorities that he attempted to block the jogger before he was killed by a father and son duo moments later. William Roddie Bryan is seen in bodycam footage released this week by Action News Jax speaking to police officers shortly after Gregory and Travis McMichael shot Arbery three times in the middle of a residential street in February as he tried to run past them.
While Bryan maintains he had nothing to do with the killing, he had reportedly told an officer that he “made a few moves” at Arbery as there had been a slew of break-ins in the neighborhood. “I pulled out of my driveway and was going to try to block him,” Bryan said. “But he was going all around – I made a few moves at him, you know, and he didn’t stop.”
#NEW: Roddie Bryan, third murder suspect in shooting death of #AhmaudArbery, is seen on police body camera video saying he tried to block Arbery as suspects Gregory and Travis McMichaels chased.— Ryan Nelson (@RyanANJax) December 15, 2020
Bryan told @bridgetteANjax in May interview he had no involvement. @ActionNewsJax pic.twitter.com/5sflJbbJMR
Bryan is now being held on murder and related charges. Prior to his arrest, however, he told Action News Jax in a televised interview that he was simply a witness to the incident and had no part in it. “Truthfully, I need to be cleared of this because I had nothing to do with it,” he told the outlet.
A video recorded by Bryan in February showed the McMichaels chasing Arbery for several minutes in their truck around the Satilla Shores neighborhood in Brunswick, before eventually blocking him in. The father-son duo reportedly suspected that the 25-year-old was responsible for a series of burglaries in the neighborhood, but were unable to furnish evidence to corroborate their claims.
Bryan, who followed the McMichaels in his vehicle, also blocked Arbery with his truck from behind before he was boxed in. Travis McMichael subsequently alighted his truck, armed with a shotgun. A physical altercation broke out moments later, ending with Travis McMichael fatally shooting Arbery three times. The jogger succumbed to his wounds at the scene.
The defendants' legal team has called for the murder charges to be dropped. Gregory McMichael's lawyer Franklin Hogue has said his client had a valid reason to believe Arbery had committed a crime. It's worth noting, however, that McMichael previously admitted he wasn't certain whether Arbery was responsible for recent break-ins reported across the neighborhood, albeit he had a "gut feeling." Meanwhile, Jason Sheffield, the lawyer representing Travis McMichael, has argued that his client shot Arbery purely in self-defense.
That said, all three defendants are still remanded in custody without bond on charges of aggravated assault, false imprisonment, malice murder, felony murder, and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment, according to CrimeOnline.
GBI Director Vic Reynolds has previously asserted that Bryan would have never been arrested if he was deemed simply a witness to the crime. According to Reynold, Bryan didn't have to be the shooter to be charged with felony murder under state law in Georgia.
“Felony murder is a crime in Georgia where if you are committing a felony crime and that crime ends up in the death of another human being, then that’s a felony murder,” Reynolds told First Coast News.