Arbery trial: Grim photos, police testimony dominate Week 1

Bryan’s cellphone video of the taking pictures dramatically raised the killing’s profile, making it half of a bigger nationwide outcry over racial injustice.

The trial is anticipated to proceed via at the least subsequent week. Listed here are some key moments up to now.


A number of jurors squirmed when a Glynn County police investigator walked them via dozens of crime scene photos of Arbery’s physique because it lay on the street the place he fell lifeless after being shot 3 times on a Sunday afternoon in February 2020. They included close-up pictures of shotgun wounds to his wrist and grievous accidents to his chest and beneath one in all his arms.

Arbery’s mom remained within the courtroom all through the presentation, whereas his father stepped exterior earlier than it started.


The jury heard from two police officers about Greg McMichael changing his story on the day of the taking pictures, when requested why he initiated the lethal chase.

Officer Jeff Brandeberry stated McMichael advised him on the scene that Arbery had been recorded by safety cameras “breaking in all these homes out right here.” Later that day, McMichael advised Detective Parker Marcy that Arbery had been recorded inside a single dwelling — one which was nonetheless beneath development, with no doorways or home windows. He famous there had been different break-ins within the neighborhood, and “logic tells you this man could be the one which’s doing it.”

Prosecutors say there’s no proof Arbery took something from the unfinished dwelling.


Prosecutors have referred to as to the witness stand eight officers who took half within the preliminary investigation by Glynn County police — which ended up making no arrests within the case. Arbery had been lifeless for greater than two months when the McMichaels and Bryan had been charged with homicide. That occurred solely after the video of the taking pictures leaked on-line and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation took over.

Stephan Lowrey, the lead county investigator in Arbery’s killing, testified that he hadn’t closed the case earlier than it obtained handed to the bureau. “It was nonetheless open however not getting a lot traction,” Lowrey testified. He added: “I believe ‘inactive’ was a good abstract.”


Glynn County investigators testified that on the day of the taking pictures, each Greg McMichael and Bryan described utilizing pickup vehicles to forestall Arbery from fleeing the Satilla Shores neighborhood, named for the Little Satilla River that flows previous its properties on Brunswick’s edge.

McMichael stated he wished the operating man detained till police might arrive and query him. “He was trapped like a rat,” McMichael advised police Sgt. Roderic Nohilly.

Bryan stated he joined the pursuit with out figuring out Arbery, the McMichaels or why they had been chasing him. Lowrey testified that Bryan a number of instances talked about maneuvering his truck to edge Arbery off the street, although the investigator stated not one of the actions Bryan described struck him as a severe crime.

“I didn’t hit him,” Bryan stated. “Want I might have. Might need took him out and never get him shot.”


Lowrey additionally advised Bryan’s lawyer, Kevin Gough, from the witness stand that he thought of Bryan to be a witness to the taking pictures. Requested by Gough if he thought Bryan dedicated aggravated assault or some other felonies along with his truck through the chase, the investigator replied: “No, that wasn’t the way in which I interpreted it on the time.”

In the meantime, Glynn County police Officer Robert Rash famous that 12 days earlier than Arbery was shot, Travis McMichael reported seeing him trespassing within the neighborhood. McMichael advised police Arbery reached towards his pocket as if reaching for a gun. Rash’s physique digital camera video confirmed him looking out that night time for Arbery with a flashlight and his gun drawn.

“So it’s customary process if you’re going right into a probably armed state of affairs to make sure you’ve your gun prepared, to your safety?” Robert Rubin, one in all Travis McMichael’s attorneys, requested the officer. Rubin added: “Travis McMichael has a proper to hold a gun. He has a proper to guard himself.”


The Rev. Al Sharpton visited the Glynn County courthouse to wish with Arbery’s dad and mom exterior after which joined them within the courtroom to listen to a few of the trial testimony.

The civil rights activist’s go to upset Bryan’s lawyer, Gough, who advised the choose he believed Sharpton was attempting to (*1*).

“Clearly there’s solely so many pastors they’ll have,” Gough stated. “And if their pastor’s Al Sharpton proper now that’s superb, however then that’s it. We don’t need any extra Black pastors coming in right here.”

Sharpton shot again that Gough’s feedback confirmed “boastful insensitivity” to Arbery’s household.

There was no ruling from the choose, as Gough made no formal movement to exclude pastors from court docket.

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