Travis McMichael, a convicted murderer, claims he wants a fresh trial for his role in the assassination of Ahmaud Arbery. His appeal for a fresh trial comes only weeks after he and his father were sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole on Jan. 7.
According to a motion obtained by Atlanta Black Star, McMichael’s attorneys argue that the prosecution failed to prove their client’s guilt and that four points support their position.
McMichael, 35, and his father, Gregory McMichael, 66, were found guilty of nine felonies on Nov. 24, 2021, in the fatal shooting of Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old Black man running in their Satilla Shores neighborhood in Brunswick, Georgia.
The smoking gun in the case was a video filmed by their neighbor William “Roddie” Bryan, which showed the son shooting the defenseless guy in the middle of the street. Bryan was sentenced to life in prison plus 20 years with no possibility of release by Judge Timothy Walmsley on Jan. 7.
The motion was submitted on Jan. 10 by McMichael’s legal defense team from Peters, Rubin, Sheffield & Hodges P.A. They want the verdict and sentence overturned because the prosecution failed to prove that the younger McMichael was guilty “beyond a reasonable doubt.”
Even though the state established his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, the attorneys argue that “the evidence was sufficiently near to compel the trial judge to exercise his discretion to grant the prisoner a retrial.”
They further claimed that “the verdict is against the law and the principles of justice and equality,” and that “the Court made a legal error that requires a new trial.”
Hundreds of thousands of dollars could be spent on a new study in the area. According to The Brunswick News, the last one cost county taxpayers $1.8 million in security and other costs related to the three men’s trial.
Overtime pay, extra sheriff’s deputies, emergency management authority officials, police, and other public safety officers who were tapped to offer additional protection for one of Georgia’s largest cases in history were among the expenses covered by the funds.
The state filed a motion as well.
During the sentencing, this request was mentioned, seeking the court to prevent the three men from profiting from the disaster. If either of the three men receives remuneration for relaying their experience in a future book or movie agreement, the revenues should go to the Arbery family, according to the proposal.
In addition, District Attorney Linda Dunikoski filed a motion on Jan. 10 citing Georgia Code 17-14-31, which states that “any person or legal entity who contracts with a defendant about a reenactment of the crime, or expression of the defendant about his ‘thoughts, feelings, opinions, or emotions regarding the crime,” shall submit the contract to the Board (sic) of Corrections, for such monies to be placed in escrow for the benefit of the victim’s family.
When the motion was originally brought up during the sentencing, Bryan’s lawyer, Kevin Gough, opposed it. The man’s capacity to obtain finances for his legal defense would be hampered, according to the attorney.
Neither motion has received a response from the Court, nor has a hearing date been established.
What is certain is that all three guys will be charged with federal hate crimes in connection with Arbery’s death.