Attorneys for Greg and Travis McMichael, who are accused of killing Ahmaud Arbery, are attempting to prevent jail phone calls from being used as evidence in their murder trial. Attorneys for the father and son urged a judge on Thursday (May 13) to exclude thousands of hours of phone talks, including one in which Greg refers to their chase and death of Arbery as a “good deed.”
“Have you ever heard that no good deed goes unpunished?” According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Greg stated to his brother during one of the calls.
The brother said, “Yeah, that’s the shining example right there.”
Greg further denied that Arbery’s race played a factor in his death in another conversation, calling the accusation “bullshit.”
Greg was referring to his “patrolling” of the area as the “good act,” according to defense counsel Franklin Hogue, not Arbery’s murder.
“The state thinks he’s saying he killed Ahmaud Arbery for a good deed, but that’s not what he meant,” Hogue added. “He meant that the good deed was patrolling his area, and the punishment was him being imprisoned and facing death charges.”
Attorneys also claimed that presenting the phone calls as evidence would be a violation of Greg’s right to a fair trial. State prosecutors, on the other hand, say that jail phone conversations are a privilege, not a right.
This was one of the points raised at the trial’s two-day hearing earlier this week. Attorneys for the McMichaels asked the judge on Wednesday (May 12) if they could introduce Arbery’s criminal record as evidence in the trial.
Arbery’s criminal record, which reportedly included larceny crimes, demonstrated his “angry and violent” temperament, according to Travis’ counsel.
On the other hand, prosecutors stated that “it doesn’t matter what Mr. Arbery’s thinking was… it doesn’t matter what his actions were [since] he was fleeing away from these men.”
Wanda Cooper Jones, Arbery’s mother, was also present during the two-day hearing. Her attorney told reporters on Thursday that the process has been “tough” and “exhausting” for the family.
Jury selection for the trial of the McMichaels and co-defendant William Bryan is set to begin on October 18.
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