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A Court Hearing In The Arbery Case Reveals New Details

SARAH MCCAMMON, HOST:

And in Brunswick, Ga., today, a judge ruled there is enough evidence to try three white suspects in the killing of Ahmaud Arbery. Arbery was the black jogger shot while he was out for a run. The preliminary hearing of Greg and Travis McMichael and William "Roddie" Bryan also gave new details. Georgia Public Broadcasting's Emily Jones reports. And please note this story includes an offensive racial slur.

EMILY JONES, BYLINE: Prosecutor Jesse Evans did not mince words during the hearing.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

JESSE EVANS: On February the 23 of 2020, victim Ahmaud Arbery was chased, hunted down and ultimately executed at the hands of these men.

JONES: The Georgia Bureau of Investigation's lead agent on the Ahmaud Arbery case was the sole witness. Under questioning, Richard Dial repeatedly outlined Ahmaud Arbery's jog through the Brunswick neighborhood and the confrontation that led to his death. Much of that narrative is already known. Gregory and Travis McMichael confronted Arbery, believing he was involved in recent alleged break-ins. During the ensuing struggle, Travis shot Arbery. But Dial did add new details, including what William "Roddie" Bryan told investigators.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

RICHARD DIAL: Mr. Bryan said that after the shooting took place, before police arrival, while Mr. Arbery was on the ground, he heard Travis Michael (ph) make the statement [expletive].

JONES: Dial also discussed previously unknown aspects about Bryan's role beyond filming the shooting. He described an extended chase through the neighborhood during which the McMichaels and Bryan, in two pickup trucks, pursued Arbery and attempted to detain him in the neighborhood. Dial described Arbery's attempts to flee, changing direction multiple times and running into ditches by the side of the road to avoid Bryan's truck. One of the defense attorneys also asked Dial whether the McMichaels acted in self-defense, as they have claimed. Dial said it was Arbery who acted in self-defense. For now, all three suspects remain in jail.

For NPR News, I'm Emily Jones in Brunswick, Ga. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.


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