“Due process requires the minimal introduction of error or prejudice into this process. The use of terms such as” victim “allows the focus to shift to the accused rather than sticking to evidence of every element of the crimes charged,” wrote the attorneys in a motion filed December 30th. Another motion tells the court to limit photos of Arbery to just one at trial and for him to appear himself. It also asked an unrelated witness to identify Arbery in the photo instead of a relative, “in order to avoid creating a cumulative adverse error in the trial of this case”.
Arbery, a 25-year-old black man, was out jogging near Brunswick, Georgia on February 23, 2020 when the McMichaels chased him in their truck and Travis shot him after the two had fought. Gregory McMichael heard on police cameras after the shooting that he felt Arbery might be responsible for previous thefts in the neighborhood, an official with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation testified in a preliminary hearing in June.
Both men have pleaded not guilty to charges of malicious murder and criminal murder.
William “Roddie” Bryan Jr., who taped a video of Arbery’s death, is believed to have hit Arbery in his truck after joining the McMichaels. Bryan pleaded not guilty to criminal attempt, false imprisonment and criminal offense.
All three men who are white are detained without bond.
McMichaels lawyers have also filed a motion asking the court to prohibit viewers from wearing face masks or t-shirts that read “Black Lives Matter,” “I can’t breathe,” or similar slogans, such as some did it. they say during previous proceedings in the case.
“It is the right of these supporters to wear whatever clothes they choose, hold up any sign they want, and chant any slogan they like outside the courtroom. That’s the beauty of our first amendment. But once they are in the courthouse, the sanctity of the defendants’ right to a fair and impartial trial exceeds the first amendment, “the motion reads.
Other motions the attorneys filed on December 30th and 31st are asking the court to order prosecutors to remove all records pertaining to “Arbery’s disciplinary, criminal and mental health records,” as well as the content of his phone and social records -Media accounts to surrender and exclude evidence of all recorded prison calls by the McMichaels while in custody at the Glynn County Detention Center.