Georgia

Testimony wraps up in Arbery death hate crimes trial, jury to soon get case

BRUNSWICK, Ga. — Testimony has wrapped up on the federal hate crimes trial in the death of Ahmaud Arbery.

That means the jury could get the case soon. Closing arguments are now set for Monday.

The combined defense teams called one witness Friday after prosecutors showed more evidence the three defendants used racial slurs, and not just with friends.

Channel 2′s Tony Thomas has covered the case from the beginning and is in Brunswick for the hate crimes trial.

Thomas said the Arbery family left the courthouse more upset Friday than he’s ever seen them.

“I knew from the very start they were racists. Not surprised at all,” Arbery’s mother Wanda Cooper -Jones said.

Travis McMichael, Greg McMichael and Roddie Bryan are accused of killing Arbery because he was Black.

Prosecutors closed their case with several witnesses relaying racist comments the McMichaels allegedly said to them.

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A woman Travis supervised in the Navy cried on the stand, telling jurors he repeatedly called her an “N-word lover” for dating Black men.

After the testimony, Arbery’s father, Marcus Arbery Sr., hugged her in a hallway, saying it took a lot of courage.

“For the family, as well as all America, this is the first time the jury, any of us (are) hearing a lot of this,” said Darryl Jones with the Transformative Justice Coalition.

Another woman testified how in a car ride when Greg McMichael worked as a DA’s investigator, she heard about civil rights leader Julian Bond’s death.

She said Greg McMichael responded, “I wish that guy had been in the ground for years. All these Blacks have been causing trouble.”

Jurors also heard a jailhouse phone call from Greg McMichael talking about Arbery after the shooting.

“It just goes to show you the old saying, no good deed goes unpunished, you know?” Greg McMichael said on the call.

“The (Department of Justice) has done a good job in presenting the case. I think we will have a good verdict as we did in the state case of guilty in all counts,” Cooper-Jones said.

Greg McMichael’s lawyer called one witness, a woman who they wanted to corroborate that he confronted both Black and white people as potential neighborhood troublemakers.

After that, all defense teams rested with insisting Arbery’s killing had nothing to do with race.

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