On Wednesday, a Cobb County, Georgia grand jury indicted three men in the death of Ahmaud Arbery. Greg McMichael, Travis McMichael and William “Roddie” Bryan face malice murder, felony murder and a host of other charges for their respective roles in the homicide of Mr. Arbery.
Many have seen the video detailing the killing of Arbery on that fateful day.
The National Review has the story of the indictments:
A Georgia grand jury returned an indictment of nine charges against the three suspects in the murder of Ahmaud Arbery, Cobb County district attorney Joyette Holmes announced Wednesday.
Holmes said that 64-year-old Greg McMichael, 34-year-old Travis McMichael, and 50-year-old William “Roddie” Bryan face malice murder, four counts of felony murder, two counts of aggravated assault, false imprisonment, and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment…
The gears of justice have ground slowly in this case. The incident happened back in February.
The McMichaels claimed that Arbery resembled a suspected burglar in their neighborhood, and drove to confront him. The shooting, captured on live video by Bryan, drew national outrage, and led to the arrests of the suspects in May….
That wasn’t a smart move on the part of the McMichaels, especially while brandishing firearms. They claimed self-defense at the time, but that will be a tough sell to any jury.
The fact that the McMichaels both had guns, including at least one long gun, and Arbery wasn’t armed will make their claim difficult to make with a straight face. Especially when all of the disparity of force elements favor the dead man, not the McMichaels.
During testimony earlier this month, Special Agent Richard Dial said that Bryan told him Travis McMichael allegedly called Arbery a “f***ing n*****” after shooting him in the chest. The autopsy report showed that Arbery was shot three times and did not have drugs or alcohol in his system.
No matter the outcome of the criminal trial, the defendants in this case will likely lose everything in the ensuing wrongful death suit. And any evidence presented of racial bias component in the shooting will taint their claims of a righteous self-defense.
The moral of the story: the safest, most prudent move is to never confront a suspect if you can avoid it, especially in a property crime. The situation can quickly escalate into a deadly force encounter and prosecutors and juries generally don’t look favorably on killing someone over mere property.