Gregory McMichael and Travis McMichael want to be acquitted of hate crime convictions in Ahmaud Abery's murder

Defense lawyers claim that Arbery's murder, which was a Black man, didn't take place on a public street and that McMichael the older wasn't as racist as his son.

Gregory McMichael and Travis McMichael want to be acquitted of hate crime convictions in Ahmaud Abery's murder

Gregory McMichael and Travis McMichael were the father and son of a white man convicted of killing Ahmaud Arkery. They filed requests to acquit federal hate crime convictions handed down last month by a jury.

Travis McMichael filed Tuesday's motion to acquit, which primarily argued that Arbery, 25, was not killed on a public street.


 

McMichael's lawyer argued that federal civil rights laws apply to public spaces in his 43-page document. According to the motion, the Georgia street on which Arbery was fatally shot and captured is part of a subdivision. The county never "expressly accepted" the dedication of the street.

Gregory McMichael's 12 page motion for acquittal relies on the same private street argument.

However, his lawyer also refuted the jury's conclusion that McMichael chased Arbery, as he was Black.

Although testimony showed that Gregory McMichael was racist toward Black people and one witness testified that he once said that "he wished all Blacks were dead", the motion states that the government "never demonstrated that Defendant Gregory McMichael harboured any animus towards Mr. Arbery."

The lawyer stated that Travis McMichael used racial slurs. However, he did not present the same evidence against his father.


 

The document stated that "Defendant Gregory McMichael also failed to provide any evidence to the jury that he associated African Americans with crime." "In reality, over two decades of law enforcement, the Government did not provide any evidence that Defendant Gregory McMichael had racist attitudes when he was present with coworkers, subordinates and supervisors."

On Thursday, the prosecution did not respond to the motions.

After a day of deliberations last month, the jury found McMichaels, along with their neighbor William "Roddie", Bryan guilty of all federal charges they faced individually, including hate crimes and the use a firearm to commission a crime. This conviction was made just one day before the second anniversary Arbery's death.

Bryan and the McMichaels chased Arbery (25), through their coastal Georgia neighborhood with trucks. Three men spotted Arbery running past their homes in February 2020. Travis McMichael and Bryan McMichael took him into custody. They fatally shot him with the shotgun.

Bryan and McMichaels were released for several weeks following the shooting. After Bryan's video was released , the McMichaels and Bryan were arrested. The case was then taken over by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

They were convicted of murder , and sentenced to life during the state trial.

Federal hate crime trials focused on the history and racial bias of the three men. This motive was largely ignored by prosecutors in the state case, although Arbery's murder gained national attention while the United States dealt with issues such as racism and bias in police work.

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