Father and son Gregory McMichael, 64, and son Travis McMichael, 34, were charged with murder after Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old black man was shot dead on February 23 in Brunswick, Georgia
Neighbor, Diego Perez, who keeps an eye on the property on behalf of the owners says the two suspects had prior run in with Arbery on the property on Feb 11
Perez said he witnessed the murder suspects confront Arbery on a construction site and two separate videos from surveillance cameras confirm Arbery had entered the partially-built house on the day he was shot
He looked on for about three minutes and wandered off, nothing was touched or taken from the construction site the video shows – and confirmed by the home owners
William Roddie Bryan the witness who recorded the Arbery shooting claims that he and his fiancee have been receiving death threats
Last week, after the murder arrests of the two McMichaels, the GBI announced that Bryan was under investigation
“I am not feeling safe at all … I haven’t felt safe in at least 3-to-5 days now,” Roddy Bryan said in a recent interview
Bryan denies being part of the confrontation that led to Arbery’s death, but the initial police report mentions that “Roddy [Bryan], attempted to block him, which was unsuccessful”
Did curiosity at the wrong location lead to his death? Ahmaud Arbery, [photo], was shot Feb 23, by a white father and son who told police they pursued him in their truck because they suspected him of being a burglar. It has just been revealed the had prior contact with Arbery before the date he was killed
The father and son who killed Ahmaud Arbery had a confrontation with the unarmed jogger two weeks before he was shot, according to one neighbor.
Gregory McMichael, 64, and his son Travis McMichael, 34, were charged with murder after a video of them pursuing Arbery in a pick up truck and then shooting him dead in a Brunswick, Georgia street on February 23 surfaced online last week.
Now neighbor Diego Perez says the two men had already approached their victim on February 11, after spotting him at the same construction site Arbery is thought to have looked round on the day of his death.
Perez told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: ‘Travis saw him in the yard and Travis stopped. He confronted (the man) halfway into the yard. He said (the man) reached for his waistband, and Travis got spooked and went down the road.’
Travis apparently returned with his father, who was armed and who had called the local police.
Perez said he witnessed the February 11 incident after Larry English, the property owner who lived two hours away, asked him to keep an eye on the site.
After a motion sensor camera had been set off, Perez headed to the construction area, where he saw the McMichaels and the man he believes to have been Arbery.
Perez said nothing was taken from the home, adding: ‘All we knew about him was that he was the guy who kept showing up on our cameras. No one knew who it was.’
The next time he saw Arbery was the day he was shot dead, Perez says.
Licensed to kill? Gregory [left] and his son Travis [right], seen at their court appearance, have both been charged with murder and aggravated assault three months after they claimed they had right to shoot and kill Ahmaud Arbery on a country lane in Georgia
Arbery’s grieving parents Wanda Jones Cooper and Marcus Arbery Sr say their son had simply gone for a routine midday jog when he was subjected to a modern day ‘lynching’.
Wanda told TMZ that she hopes prosecutors seek the death penalty against the two men: ‘Coming from a mother’s point of view: my son died, and so they should die as well.’
The home under construction is described in recent listings as a vacant lot, 0.5 acres in size on the banks of the Little Satilla River: the perfect spot for the ‘river front home of your dreams’.
The home owner, Larry English Jr. has a sign posted outside, warning: ‘Trespassers will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.’
Two separate videos emerged over the weekend to confirm that Arbery had indeed entered the partially-built house, one captured by English’s camera and a second taken from a neighboring property.
Arbery’s family say the clips are actually proof that he didn’t steal anything and was merely looking around, which they insist is not a crime.
‘Ahmaud Arbery did not take any anything from the construction site. He did not cause any damage to the property,’ their attorney, S. Lee Merritt, said.
He decided to alert police via a non-emergency number because the unidentified ‘intruder’ had ‘no business’ trespassing on the unfurnished property for several minutes around 1pm on February 23.
Asked why he was so suspicious about Arbery, he said: ‘He wasn’t out for a jog, put it like that. You don’t go jogging wearing saggy pants, saggy shorts.’
The aspiring boxer – who would have turned 26 last Friday – was in fact wearing a white T-shirt and knee-length shorts, consistent with clothes that someone might wear to train or go for a run.
Moments after he left the empty property he was shot and killed by father and son ‘vigilantes’ Gregory and Travis McMichael, who claim they were attempting to detain a burglary suspect.
It took nearly three months and three different prosecutors for the father and son to be charged with murder after state authorities were moved to action after the video of the ‘lynching’ was leaked.
Curiously none of the previous prosecutors handling the case mentions the existence of a recording of the incident
Georgia’s Attorney General is now investigating the handling of the case amid claims that prosecutors passed it off to protect 64-year-old Gregory McMichael, a retired cop who worked for the local district attorney’s office.
GRAPHIC: Shocking moment black jogger is shot dead by white men
Defense or Offense? In the footage, a shot can be heard and Arbery is seen scuffling with Travis as Arbery appears to try to get the gun away from Travis. Two more shots can be heard, fired at point-blank range, ending the scuffle
English says he was working three hours away when he received an alert on his cell phone saying something had triggered a remote security camera inside the property.
Assuming it was a dog or cat, he didn’t look at his phone for about 15 minutes.
By the time he had checked the footage, seen an unidentified male and asked a friend in Satilla Drive what was going on, the shooting had already happened.
‘The English family had no relationship with the McMichaels and did not even know what had occurred until after Mr Arbery’s death was reported to them,’ he said, though an attorney.
‘Mr English would never have sought a vigilante response, much less one resulting in a tragic death.’
Wanda Cooper-Jones seen [right with Arbery], wants the death penalty for the men who murdered her son, Gregory and Travis McMichael
Gregory and Travis McMichael claim they were trying to perform a legal citizen’s arrest when Arbery lunged towards the shotgun Travis was brandishing. The shooter proceeded to blast three times in the melee.
The older man did ring 911 at 1:14pm to report a ‘black male running down the street’ but he broke off moments later to take the law into his own hands – shouting: ‘Goddamn it, c’mon Travis’.
In their statements to police in the aftermath, the McMichaels said Arbery caught their attention because he resembled a man accused of an alleged spate of residential break-ins.
However there is, to date, no evidence to suggest he committed any crime in predominantly white Satilla Shores on or before the day of the shooting.
Rather the older of the duo accused in the Ahmaud Arbery killing worked as chief investigator in DA’s office without arrest powers or proper certification for more TEN years, according to new reports.
Personnel records obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press show the elder McMichael worked for Brunswick Circuit DA Jackie Johnson’s office from November 1995 through May 2019.
While he consistently got good performance reviews, in 2014, the Peace Officer Standards and Training Council notified the district attorney’s office that in five years since 2005, Gregory McMichael had either failed to do enough training hours or failed to take mandatory firearms or use-of-deadly force classes, documents show.
The result was that he had technically lacked arrest powers since January 1 2006 — a situation that could have made Johnson and her office liable for any improper actions by McMichael during that time, according to a memo in the file.
In submitting a training waiver to remedy the situation, McMichael said it was a ‘great embarrassment.’
Documents in the file show he again failed to complete mandatory training in 2018 and relinquished his certification, serving out his final few months with the district attorney’s office as a non-sworn liaison to law enforcement agencies in one of the counties in the judicial circuit.
Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr announced that he asked the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and federal authorities to investigate how local prosecutors handled the killing of Ahmaud Arbery.
‘Unfortunately, many questions and concerns have arisen’ about the actions of the district attorneys, Carr said Tuesday in a statement.
As a result, the attorney general asked the GBI to review the matter ‘to determine whether the process was undermined in any way.’
Justice Department spokeswoman Kerri Kupec also announced that federal prosecutors have asked Carr to share any results. Federal officials are also considering whether hate crimes charges are warranted.
William Roddie Bryan [right], the witness who recorded the Arbery shooting claims that he and his family have been receiving death threats.
Brunswick Circuit District Attorney Jackie Johnson defended her office’s involvement, which she insisted was minimal because the elder McMichael worked for her as an investigator before retiring a year ago. That relationship required the office to step away from the case.
‘I’m confident an investigation is going to show my office did what it was supposed to and there was no wrongdoing on our part,’ Johnson told The Associated Press in a phone interview Tuesday.
Johnson said Glynn County police contacted two of her assistant prosecutors on the day of the shooting, seeking legal advice. She said her assistants immediately responded that they could not get involved because of the conflict of interest.
Asked if anyone in her office told police not to arrest the McMichaels or suggested the shooting may have been justified, Johnson said, ‘Absolutely not.’
It was the police who brought up self-defense during their call., she said
‘The police represented it as a burglary case with a self-defense issue,’ Johnson said. Police were seeking ‘guidance on how to proceed and whether to make an arrest. Our office could not advise or assist them because of our obvious conflict.’
Johnson said she reached out to neighboring Waycross Circuit District Attorney George Barnhill, asking if his office could advise Glynn County police. Because it was a fatal shooting, she said, ‘I didn’t want the case to stall.’
Carr had claimed in his letter Monday asking the GBI to investigate possible misconduct by the prosecutors, that he was never told that Barnhill had already advised police ‘that he did not see grounds for the arrest of any of the individuals involved in Mr. Arbery’s death.’
Barnhill’s statement comes weeks after Carr appointed him to the case, and just a few days before recusing himself April 7.
Barnhill wrote that the McMichaels ‘were following, in ‘hot pursuit,’ a burglary suspect, with solid first hand probable cause, in their neighborhood, and asking/telling him to stop.’
He concluded that ‘It appears their intent was to stop and hold this criminal suspect until law enforcement arrived. Under Georgia Law this is perfectly legal,’ Barnhill advised in the undated letter, to Glynn County police Capt. Tom Jump.
County officials released the letter last week.
The first prosecutor, Jackie Johnson, said she could not recall if she had told Carr’s office that she enlisted Barnhill’s help before recusing herself. Barnhill had the case for about a month before he stepped aside under pressure because his son works for Johnson as an assistant prosecutor. The phone at Barnhill’s office in Waycross rang unanswered Tuesday.
Tom Durden, the district attorney in nearby Hinesville, next took the case and had it for more than three weeks before the video became public and he called in the GBI. On Monday, Carr replaced him with Cobb County District Attorney Joyette M. Holmes, one of only seven black district attorneys in Georgia.
She’s based in Atlanta, far from the coastal community where the shooting happened, and is ‘a respected attorney with experience, both as a lawyer and a judge,’ said Carr, a Republican.
Last week, after the murder arrests of the two McMichael men in connection with the shooting, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation announced that William Roddie Bryan was under investigation. Bryan recorded the shooting which he later released to investigators.
in an interview with AJAX .
On February 23, Bryan recorded Ahmaud Arbery running in the Satilla Shores neighborhood in Brunswick. He also captured a confrontation with two men, a shooting and Arbery collapsing to the ground.
“Complete shock. I’ve never been involved in anything like that before,” Bryan said.
The GBI said Bryan and his video are both currently part of the investigation.
“I am not feeling safe at all … I haven’t felt safe in at least 3-to-5 days now,” Roddy Bryan said in his interview. Bryan denies being part of the confrontation that led to Arbery’s death, but the initial police report states: “Roddy [Bryan], attempted to block him, which was unsuccessful.”
The video, which was leaked more than two months after the shooting, prompted demonstrations across the country and the eventual arrest of Travis and Gregory McMichael, who are now charged with Arbery’s murder.
“I am not feeling safe at all … I haven’t felt safe in at least 3-to-5 days now,” Bryan said. “Like Amy (Bryan’s fiancee) has said, the threats have been real.”
The initial police report mentions Bryan: “Roddy attempted to block him, which was unsuccessful.”
But Bryan denies being part of the confrontation that led to Arbery’s death.
“I had nothing to do with it. I’m trying to get my life back to normal, and it’s been smeared for the last week,” Bryan said. “I was told I was a witness and I’m not sure what I am, other than receiving a bunch of threats.”
Questions as to why and how Bryan was there, his reasoning before he started recording remain unanswered.
Bryan and his fiancee said they are now living in their car, in fear for their lives.
“I’d be lying if I didn’t say I wasn’t scared. If that’s what they wanted to do was scare me, they’ve scared me,” Bryan said.
Bryan expressed his condolences to the Arbery family.
“Yes I am very, very sorry for your loss. I don’t know what else to say. There’s nothing else I can say. I am very sorry for your loss,” he said.