Vigilante dad Gregory McMichael would have shot Ahmaud Arbery if his son, Travis McMichael, had not done so, police testimony revealed
Officer Jeff Brandeberry said in court Tuesday that McMichael told him: ‘If I could have gotten a shot at the guy, I’d have shot him myself’
Brandeberry’s testimony also revealed that McMichael called Arbery an ‘ahole’ despite the fact that he did not know the black jogger
Additionally, the jury was presented with photos Travis McMichael taken by police moments after he shot Arbery
The photos show the younger McMichael with the jogger’s blood on his hands and arms as well as spattering his shirt, face and neck
The elder McMichael also had blood on his right hand when police arrived to the scene of the fatal shooting
An officer who responded to the shooting of Ahmaud Arbery revealed that Gregory McMichael would have shot the black jogger had his son not done so.
‘To be perfectly honest with you, if I could have gotten a shot at the guy, I’d have shot him myself,’ Greg McMichael said, according to a transcript of Glynn County police Officer Jeff Brandeberry’s body-camera footage that was read aloud in court Tuesday.
McMichael added: ‘This ain’t no shuffler. This guy’s an a**hole.’
Glenn County Police Detective Parker Marcy also took the stand Tuesday, alleging that hours after the incident, McMichael admitted he was carrying a pistol and prepared to shoot the 25-year-old jogger.
‘I said, ‘Stop, you know, I’ll blow your f*****g head off or something,’ McMichael said, according to a transcript of the conversation of his conversation with Marcy.
‘I was trying to convey to this guy we were not playing.’
On Tuesday, the jury was also presented with several photos police took of McMichael’s son, Travis McMichael, 35, in the moments after he shot Arbery.
The photographs show the younger McMichael with the jogger’s blood on his hands and arms as well as spattering his shirt, face and neck.
Gregory McMichael also had Arbery’s blood on his right hand, Brandeberry testified.
The officer said, when he arrived on the scene shortly after the fatal shooting, that McMichael told him he got the blood on himself because he moved Arbery’s arm, as he lay prone on the ground, to check him for a weapon.
‘I didn’t know if he (Arbery) had a weapon or not. I don’t take any chances,’ McMichael told the officer, explaining why he touched the body, Brandeberry recalled.
Brandeberry also told the jury that McMichael quickly changed his story about why he suspected the 25-year-old black man running in his neighborhood was a criminal.
The officer claims McMichael at first told him that Arbery had been recorded by security cameras ‘breaking in all these houses out here.’
‘Well, he makes frequent trips to the neighborhood and gets caught on video cameras every third or fourth night breaking into places and no on’s been able to catch him,’ McMichael told Brandeberry, who read in open court from a transcript of the conversation recorded by his body camera.
The suspect’s account shifted when he spoke with a Glynn County detective at police headquarters late the same day, at which point he told Detective Parker Marcy the intruder had targeted a single home – one that was still under construction with no doors or windows – as opposed to numerous properties.
Marcy testified that McMichael told him he had seen ‘two or three videos’ that showed ‘this guy breaking into or being or wandering around into this house.’
McMichael noted: ‘It’s been in that state with no doors, with no windows for over a year now.’
McMichael, his son Travis McMichael, 35, and neighbor William ‘Roddie’ Bryan, 52, have pleaded not guilty to charges of murder, aggravated assault and false imprisonment for their deadly pursuit of Arbery on Feb. 23, 2020.
They face life in prison if convicted by the jury, which prosecutors alleged is disproportionately composed of 11 white people and one black person.
Prosecutors have said the men ‘assumed the worst’ of Arbery as he ran through the Satilla Shores neighborhood just outside Brunswick, which had experienced some recent break-ins of cars.
After Arbery was trapped by the three men, he was seen on video reaching out for Travis McMichael’s shotgun. He was shot three times.
None of the men were arrested in the slaying until more than two months later, when cellphone video of the shooting leaked online and sparked an outcry amid a national reckoning over racial injustice.
Prosecutors say the men had no legal reason to pursue Arbery with guns, as there’s no evidence Arbery committed any crimes in the Satilla Shores subdivision outside the port city of Brunswick.
The defense says the defendants had reason to suspect Arbery was a burglar.
Greg McMichael said the chase began when he saw Arbery ‘hauling a**’ past his home on a Sunday afternoon.
He claimed to recognized Arbery from security camera videos shown to him by a neighbor, who wasn’t charged in the case.
McMichael ran inside and grabbed a .357 magnum handgun.
His son, Travis McMichael, armed himself with a shotgun before the pair went after Arbery in a pickup truck.
Bryan joined the chase in his own truck and recorded the video of Travis McMichael shooting Arbery at close range. Travis McMichael’s attorneys say he opened fire in self-defense.
Brandeberry testified that Greg McMichael told him at the scene: ‘He attacked my son. He came at him. He tried to get the damn shotgun away.’
Marcy testified that Greg McMichael said he armed himself because he suspected Arbery may have stolen a handgun from his son’s truck several weeks earlier, though he acknowledged he had no proof.
The detective said he asked whether the videos of Arbery inside the home under construction showed him picking up or taking anything.
‘You know, not that I recall,’ Greg McMichael answered, according to the interview transcript that the detective read in court.
‘I don’t think the guy has actually stolen anything out of there, or if he did it was early in the process. But he keeps going back over and over again to this damn house.’