BRUNSWICK, Ga. — Prosecutors in the Ahmaud Arbery murder case say they want to show racist social media posts they believe came from the defendants to present to the jury.
For months prosecutors in the case have said they believe race played a role in the jogger’s death earlier this year outside of Brunswick, Georgia.
“He saw a man running down the road and he took action, based on his racial bias’s,” prosecutors told the court.
[TIMELINE: The investigation into the killing of Ahmaud Arbery]
Three white men, former police officer Greg McMichael, his son Travis McMichael and neighbor Roddie Bryan are accused of killing Arbery.
They claim they were only chasing him because they thought he’d stole from a nearby house. They wanted to hold him for police.
“He does, with all due respect, what any patriotic American citizen would have done under the same question,” attorney Kevin Gough told the court.
[GBI searches homes of men accused of killing Ahmaud Arbery]
Prosecutors say Travis McMichael used a racial term when standing over Arbery’s body and say they can show any potential jury racist actions in the past.
In motions, prosecutors ask to use Facebook posts, videos and text messages from the three defendants.
“They are going to say this tells the story,” said legal analyst Esther Panitch. “The presumption is the evidence will come in unless there is a specific reason it shouldn’t.”
Panitch said the defense will get a hearing to keep it out.
[Father, son arrested and charged in killing of Ahmaud Arbery]
“The only reason the state is bringing it forward is to inflame the jury and get an emotional verdict instead of a legal verdict,” Panitch said.
There are no dates set yet for any additional hearings on this case or any trial.
The attorney for Roddie Bryan said he expects to file more motions countering the defense in the coming days.
Cox Media Group