BRUNSWICK, Ga. (AP) — Defense attorneys rested their case in the Ahmaud Arbery trial Thursday after calling just seven witnesses, including the shooter, who testified that Arbery did not threaten him in any way before he pointed his shotgun at the 25-year-old Black man.
The event is scheduled to start at 10 a.m. ET. Watch the trial in the player above.
Superior Court Judge Timothy Walmsley scheduled closing arguments in the trial for Monday, setting up the possibility of verdicts before Thanksgiving for the three white men charged with murder in Arbery’s death.
Under cross-examination by the prosecution on his second day of testimony, Travis McMichael said that Arbery hadn’t shown a weapon or spoken to him at all before McMichael raised his shotgun. But, McMichael said, he was “under the impression” that Arbery could be a threat because he was running straight at him and he had seen Arbery trying to get into the truck of a neighbor who had joined in a pursuit of Arbery in their coastal Georgia neighborhood.
“All he’s done is run away from you,” prosecutor Linda Dunikoski said. “And you pulled out a shotgun and pointed it at him.”
Cellphone video from the Feb. 23, 2020, shooting — replayed in court Thursday — shows Arbery running around the back of McMichael’s pickup truck after McMichael first points the shotgun while standing next to the open driver’s side door. Arbery then runs around the passenger side as McMichael moves to the front and the two come face to face. After that, the truck blocks any view of them until the first gunshot sounds.
McMichael’s testimony Wednesday marked the first time any of the three defendants has spoken publicly about the killing. The other two defendants did not testify. McMichael said Arbery forced him to make a split-second “life-or-death” decision by attacking him and grabbing his shotgun.
Dunikoski noted Thursday that’s not what McMichael told police in an interview about two hours after the shooting occurred.