Nicole Duncan-Smith, Atlanta Black Star, January 20, 2022
Convicted murderer Travis McMichael says that he wants a new trial around his involvement in the killing of Ahmaud Arbery. The request for the new trial comes weeks after he and his father were sentenced, on Jan. 7, to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
According to a motion obtained by Atlanta Black Star, McMichael’s lawyers contend that the prosecution did not prove that their client was guilty and that four points substantiate their claim.
McMichael, 35, and his father Gregory McMichael, 66, were convicted on Nov. 24, 2021, of nine charges, in the February 2020 shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old Black man jogging in their Satilla Shores community in Brunswick, Georgia.
A video, shot by their neighbor William “Roddie” Bryan, was used as the smoking gun in the case, showing the son shooting the unarmed man in the middle of the street. On Jan. 7, Bryan also was sentenced by Judge Timothy Walmsley; he received life in prison plus 20 additional years and no chance for parole.
McMichael’s legal defense team from the office of Peters, Rubin, Sheffield & Hodges P.A. filed the motion on Jan. 10. They want the state to set aside the verdict and sentencing because the prosecution did not show that the younger McMichael was guilty of the crime “beyond a reasonable doubt.”
The attorneys also suggest that even if the state proved his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, “the evidence was sufficiently close to warrant the trial judge to exercise his discretion to grant the defendant a retrial.”