Jury selection in the trial of three white men accused of killing unarmed black jogger Ahmaud Arbery reached a boiling point Wednesday when defense attorneys struck down 11 out of 12 black potential jurors.
The move left just one black juror and 11 white jurors to reach a verdict in the racially charged Glynn County Georgia case.
Prosecutors had asked Superior Court Judge Timothy Walmsley to reinstate eight Black potential jurors, arguing that defense lawyers struck them from the final jury because of their race.
The judge declined to override the jury selection, though he agreed with prosecutors that “there appears to be intentional discrimination.”
Walmsley said he was limited in his ability to change the jury’s racial makeup because defense attorneys were able to give nonracial reasons for their decisions to strike the potential Black jurors from the panel. Defense lawyers said those people had all expressed strong opinions about the case during questioning over the past two weeks.
The search for impartial jurors has been a challenge, with some potential jurors admitting to being swayed by a video allegedly showing Arbery being shot at close range last year.
Arbery, 25, was jogging in Brunswick on Feb. 23, 2020, when he was chased down by three white men — Greg McMichael, 65, his 35-year-old son, Travis McMichael, and local resident William “Roddie” Bryan, 52.
The three allegedly men accused Arbery of being a burglar before Travis McMichael fatally shot him.
With Post wires