The three men who have been charged with the murder of Ahmaud Arbery have pleaded not guilty.
While appearing at a courthouse in Glynn County, Georgia, via video conference, Travis McMichael, his father Gregory McMichael, and their neighbor William “Roddie” Bryan all pleaded not guilty to one charge of malice murder, four charges of felony murder, two charges of aggravated assault, one charge of false imprisonment, and one charge of criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment.
Though William’s attorney requested bond for his client, the judge denied the request, citing, among a number of reasons, an active and ongoing possible sex crimes investigation by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation at the request of the Glynn County Police Department.
The suspects were indicted last month.
According to TMZ, William’s attorney requested that potential jurors be examined separately and privately, claiming there are “sensitive and potentially embarrassing questions exploring the prospective juror’s bias and prejudice, especially with respect to matters of race.”
The lawyer also submitted a list of more than 50 questions for potential jurors to answer, including, “What in your opinion is the principal cause of crime in America today?” “What steps do you think people who are frightened about crime should take to protect themselves?” and “Have you ever heard the statement, ‘He looks like a criminal?’ If yes, do you think that if someone ‘looks like a criminal,’ they are probably guilty if they are arrested for a crime? Why/why not?”
Additionally, William’s attorney wants to examine all of Ahmaud’s probation documents, as well as any medical or mental health records, juvenile court records, DCFS records, and board of education records.
On February 23, Travis allegedly fired three shots from a shotgun at Ahmaud, who was unarmed and jogging near Brunswick in Glynn County, Georgia. Gregory, who was also armed, allegedly watched the shooting while standing in the bed of a pickup truck. William filmed the incident on his cell phone.
Per a police report, Gregory told authorities that Ahmaud attacked his son, and that William “attempted to block” Ahmaud as he ran.
Travis and Gregory allegedly pursued Ahmaud in response to supposed criminal activity that had been reported to local authorities.
During a June preliminary hearing, a GBI detective testified that he found no evidence that Arbery stole anything from a construction site he walked through before he was shot and killed.
Ahmaud was 25.