Judge denies bond for father and son accused of slaying Ahmaud Arbery.
A Georgia judge has denied bond for the father and son facing murder charges in the killing of Ahmaud Arbery.
Travis McMichael and his dad, Gregory McMichael, have been in jail since their arrests in May, over two months after they killed Arbery, 25.
According to reports, the father-son duo chased Arbery in a truck while armed with guns after they saw him jogging in their neighborhood.
They confronted him, and then the son shot him three times.
Police didn’t arrest the McMichaels until a cellphone video of the shooting went viral online, sparking protests.
In their arraignment, Judge Timothy Walmsley considered arguments for two days as to whether Gregory and Travis should be released on bail.
Ultimately, the judge determined that the McMichaels still ‘pose a significant risk and danger to the community.’
The judge also cited that the two men took the law into their own hands and endangered neighbors.
In defense, the father and son previously told the police they pursued Arbery because they thought he was breaking into a house.
The son also claimed he shot Arbery in self-defense.
However, prosecutors told the court Arbery was just out for a jog.
Walmsley agreed with prosecutors, adding that Gregory McMichaels had even tried to influence investigators after the shooting.
Prosecutors Introduced New Evidence in Court
The evidence includes bodycam footage showing Gregory McMichael telling police about his past as an ex-officer. He also provided false information to the officers about the shooting incident.
Referring to the apparent two-month delay between the shooting and the arrests, Walmsley said:
There does appear to be evidence that McMichael was willing to put the law in his own hands.
He felt he had the ability to influence an ongoing investigation. And I think the facts are still developing on this. But there’s a possibility that it’s why this case took so long to get where it is right now.
Robert Rubin and Jason Sheffield, Travis McMichael’s lawyers, tried to portray their client as a person of good character.
They cited his service as a US Coast Guard machine technician and his 4-year-old son.
Curt Hall, a former Coast Guard roommate of Travis McMichael, also tried to support bail for his friend.
He said in a letter:
In no way, shape or form is Travis hateful towards any group of people. Nor does he look down on anyone based on race, religion or beliefs.
However, the testimony during the hearing ran counter to that image.
Prosecutor Jesse Evans read a message Travis McMichael posted on Facebook that used an offensive term for Asians.
The prosecutor also read a text message Travis McMichael sent last year to a friend that used a slur for Black people.