According to court documents filed Tuesday, two of the men serving life in prison for the 2020 murder of Ahmaud Arbery, Travis and Gregory McMichael are currently seeking acquittal of their federal hate crimes convictions; after all three men involved in the murder of Ahmaud where convicted for federal hate crimes. Court records also show that the third man, William R. Bryan, has not filed a motion since the federal hate crimes trial ended.
The father and son, who both filed separate motions for acquittal on all the federal charges; are arguing that the killing of the 25-year-old Ahmaud did not happen on public streets and that the government did not give enough evidence for them to be convicted of federal hate crimes.
Travis and Gregory McMichael Deny Racially motivated actions
According to CNN, “In the 43-page appeal for an acquittal, attorneys for Travis McMichael used the first 33-pages to argue; the government did not sufficiently prove that Arbery was running on a public street. Federal civil rights laws prohibits the willful harm or intimidation of people in public spaces based on their race.
The McMichaels, who were armed, were in one vehicle, while Bryan, who joined while the chase was underway; followed in his own truck, assisting in and recording the chase. Arbery was unarmed. Defense attorneys argued the McMichaels pursued Arbery in a pickup truck; to stop him for police because they suspected him of committing a crime; and that Travis McMichael shot Arbery in self-defense as they wrestled over McMichael’s shotgun. The motion stated that the testimony only showed the neighborhood’s; “developer offered to dedicate the Satilla Shores neighborhood streets to the county, but the county did not expressly or implicitly accept that offer,” according to the court documents.
The motion by Gregory McMichael claimed that there was not any evidence that he went after Arbery because of his skin color in reference to the interference of rights convictions. The motion also added that there was no evidence that Gregory used the n-word or any other racial slurs.