8 potential jurors advance in Ahmaud Arbery slaying trial

Oct 18, 2021, 10:04 PM | Updated: Oct 19, 2021, 6:22 pm
Ahmaud Arbery's father Marcus Arbery, center, heads into the Glynn County Courthouse in Brunswick, ...

Ahmaud Arbery's father Marcus Arbery, center, heads into the Glynn County Courthouse in Brunswick, Ga with his attorney Benjamin Crump on Monday, Oct. 18, 2021. Jury selection got underway with hundreds of people ordered to report for what could be a long, laborious effort to find jurors to hear the trial of three white men charged with fatally shooting Ahmaud Arbery as he was running in their neighborhood. (AP Photo/Lewis M. Levine)

(AP Photo/Lewis M. Levine)

BRUNSWICK, Ga. (AP) — A judge found eight potential jurors qualified to advance Tuesday following intense questioning aimed at finding an impartial jury for the trial of three white men charged with chasing and killing Ahmaud Arbery, whose slaying last year sparked a national outcry.

Father and son Greg and Travis McMichael and a neighbor, William “Roddie” Bryan, are charged with murder and other crimes in the 25-year-old Black man’s death after a cellphone video of the Feb. 23, 2020, killing was leaked online two months later.

“We can’t do this without you,” Superior Court Judge Timothy Walmsley told the eight pool members, the first to advance after being questioned individually by attorneys on what they know about Arbery’s death, how many times they watched the video and whether they think the shooting was motivated by racism.

Dozens more in the jury pool will need to be cleared before a final panel of 12 jurors and four alternates can be seated. Tuesday marked the second day of jury selection, which court officials say could take more than two weeks before the actual trial can begin.

Jury duty notices were mailed to 1,000 people in coastal Glynn County, with 600 ordered to report Monday and the remainder on deck for next week if needed.

The huge jury pool underscores how Arbery’s slaying has dominated the news, social media feeds and workplace chatter in the coastal community of roughly 85,000 residents.

The eight people deemed qualified to serve won’t necessarily be seated on the final jury. They just weren’t among those found to have hardened opinions on the case, or with hardships that made jury service an unfair burden. Prosecutors and the defense will take turns striking qualified pool members in order to arrive at the final jury.

Two of those qualified Tuesday said they know some of the defendants. One said his father is a longtime prosecutor who worked with Greg McMichael before the defendant retired as an investigator for the local district attorney shortly before Arbery was killed.

“He’s a friend of my father’s and he’s been over to our house multiple times,” the man said.

The other said her husband and father-in-law know Bryan.

A woman who said she knows Arbery’s father, Marcus Arbery Sr., was dismissed.

The judge expressed frustration over the slow pace. His initial schedule had called for attorneys to question two groups of potential jurors of 20 people each. But he sent the second group home Tuesday afternoon, with more than half of the morning panel still waiting to be questioned.

“I do not have the ability to just store people or keep them longer than planned,” the judge said, adding later: “At the rate we’re going, all these plans we have to move these panels through are not going to work.”

The court has not identified the race of any of the prospective jurors.

Prosecutors say Arbery was merely jogging on the street 2 miles (3.2 kilometers) from his home when the McMichaels grabbed guns and chased him in a pickup truck. Bryan joined the pursuit in his own truck and recorded the now-infamous cellphone video of Travis McMichael shooting Arbery three times at close range with a shotgun.

Defense attorneys insist the three men committed no crimes. Greg McMichael told police they believed Arbery was a burglar after security cameras previously recorded him entering a nearby home under construction. He said Travis McMichael fired in self-defense after Arbery punched him and tried to grab his weapon.

Prosecutors say there is no evidence that Arbery, who was unarmed, committed any crime.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE - The Supreme Court is seen at dusk in Washington, Oct. 22, 2021. Both sides are telling the S...
Associated Press

Supreme Court set to take up all-or-nothing abortion fight

WASHINGTON (AP) — Both sides are telling the Supreme Court there’s no middle ground in Wednesday’s showdown over abortion. The justices can either reaffirm the constitutional right to an abortion or wipe it away altogether. Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 ruling that declared a nationwide right to abortion, is facing its most serious challenge […]
15 hours ago
Boston Celtics center Enes Kanter, right, blocks Brooklyn Nets guard James Harden (13) during the f...
Associated Press

New country, new name for US citizen ‘Enes Kanter Freedom’

BOSTON (AP) — Boston Celtics center Enes Kanter is changing his name to “Enes Kanter Freedom” to celebrate becoming a United States citizen. Kanter’s manager, Hank Fetic, told The Associated Press that Kanter will have his citizenship oath ceremony on Monday afternoon and at the same time will complete his legal name change. The news […]
15 hours ago
Associated Press

Lee Enterprises tries to ward off hostile takeover by Alden

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) — The Lee Enterprises newspaper chain has adopted a “poison-pill” plan to protect itself from a hostile takeover while the company’s board considers an unsolicited offer from hedge fund Alden Global Capital. The shareholder rights plan would take effect if Alden gets control of more than 10% of Lee’s stock any time […]
15 hours ago
Dr. Anthony Fauci, right, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, sp...
Associated Press

Fauci fires back at Cruz over COVID claims about Chinese lab

WASHINGTON (AP) — Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government’s top infectious diseases expert, blasted Sen. Ted Cruz for suggesting that Fauci be investigated for statements he made about COVID-19 and said the criticism by the Texas Republican was an attack on science. “I should be prosecuted? What happened on Jan. 6, senator?” Fauci, who is President […]
15 hours ago
People, some wearing face masks, walk in Regent Street, in London, Sunday, Nov. 28, 2021. Britain's...
Associated Press

WHO criticizes travel bans on southern African countries

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — The World Health Organization on Sunday urged countries around the world not to impose flight bans on southern African nations due to concerns over the new omicron variant. WHO’s regional director for Africa, Matshidiso Moeti, called on countries to follow science and international health regulations in order to avoid using travel restrictions. […]
15 hours ago
Associated Press

Northwest flooding evolving in areas hit by prior storm

SEATTLE (AP) — Though flooding that was expected to threaten parts of the Northwest didn’t end up being too bad Sunday, weather officials urged residents to remain alert because more rain was on the way to an area where there’s lingering water from extreme weather earlier this month. “There’s some good news and some pending […]
15 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Why fall maintenance is important for your heating system and A/C

It’s easy to ignore your heater and air conditioner when they’re working but the moment something breaks, you will likely regret not keeping up with maintenance. After all, if something goes wrong, you may be stuck with a repair that will take longer and be more expensive than simple maintenance.
...
PNC Bank

3 cool tips to turn everyday moments into learning experiences for your child

Early brain development has a crucial impact on a child’s ability to learn and succeed in school and life. Research has shown that 90% of a child’s brain is developed by age five.
...
PNC Bank

How one organization supports early childhood literacy for the most vulnerable

Nearly two out of every three children in low-income communities don’t own a single children’s book, a fact that ultimately could have profound impacts even before entering kindergarten, according to Arizona nonprofit Southwest Human Development.
8 potential jurors advance in Ahmaud Arbery slaying trial