The white men who allegedly chased down and killed jogger Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia last year have asked a judge not to allow a photo of the Confederate vanity plate on their pickup truck to be included as evidence in their upcoming trial.
Lawyers for Gregory McMichael and his adult son Travis McMichael filed a motion last week to ban images of the license plate from the trial, because they do not want a jury to think the flag to invoke “some reprehensible motive, bias or prejudice.”
Prosecutors fired back with their own motion a day later, writing “the jury may interpret that evidence in any way they deem appropriate, and the State may make reasonable inferences.”
The McMicheals and William Bryan are charged with murder, and jury selection at their state trial is slated to begin later this month. They also face federal hate crime charges.
It was unclear if the judge had ruled on the motions.
The McMicheals allegedly trailed Arbery in their pickup truck for four minutes near Brunswick in February 2020. Bryan, a neighbor, allegedly followed behind taking cell phone footage, which showed Travis shooting the jogger at close range with a shotgun.
The suspects maintained that they chased after Arbery, 25, because they thought he was a burglar. Investigators found he did not commit any crimes and was not carrying a weapon as he exercised.
Travis allegedly called the Arbery a “f–king n—-r” after the murder and often used racial slurs in digital communications.
A former district attorney was charged with misconduct after she allegedly tried to shield the suspects from hate crime charges.
The three defendants remained free for months after the homicide until the cellphone footage finally emerged and the case was kicked up to Atlanta prosecutors amid public outrage.
With AP wires