Judge Timothy Walmsley is reading the jury instructions after the prosecution wrapped its final rebuttal in the trial. The jury will then begin deliberations.
Travis McMichael, along with his father Gregory McMichael and neighbor William “Roddie” Bryan Jr., face charges including malice murder and felony murder in the killing of Arbery on Feb. 23, 2020. The men pursued Arbery — whom they suspected of burglary — in their vehicles, which led to Travis McMichael fatally shooting Arbery.
“Whatever your verdict is, it must be unanimous, that is, agreed by as to each count of the indictment, and as to each defendant,” the judge explained. “Each verdict might be in writing, and signed by one of your members as foreperson, dated, and returned to be published in open court.”
In her closing rebuttal, Linda Dunikoski, the lead prosecutor, argued that the defendants cannot use the claim of self-defense and asked the jury to find the men “guilty for all of the charges in the indictment.”
“They started it; they do not get to claim self-defense. And then, of course, provocation. You can’t force someone to defend themselves against you so you get to claim self-defense. This isn’t the Wild West. No. So there’s three instances where the defendants don’t get to claim self-defense,” Dunikoski told the jury.
What we know about the jury: The jury consists of one Black member and 11 White members. The jury’s makeup has drawn criticism from Arbery’s family and put into focus the South’s history of racial exclusion in jury selection.
Ben Crump, an attorney representing the Arbery family, expressed his disappointment in the jury selection earlier this month, saying the final panel doesn’t represent the population of the city were both Arbery and the defendants lived.
“A jury should reflect the community. Brunswick is 55% Black, so it’s outrageous that Black jurors were intentionally excluded to create such an imbalanced jury in a cynical effort to help these cold-blooded killers escape justice,” Crump said in a statement.
CNN’s Nicole Chavez and Brandon Tensley contributed reporting in this post.
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