Travis McMichael admits Ahmaud Arbery never had a weapon

Travis McMichael admits Ahmaud Arbery never had a weapon

The man who shot Ahmaud Arbery dead testified Thursday that the 25-year-old black man never pulled out a weapon or threatened him in any way during a chase through his Georgia neighborhood.

Testifying under cross-examination, Travis McMichael acknowledged that Arbery had indicated several times that he didn’t want to talk to him after McMichael repeatedly pulled up beside him in his pickup truck on Feb. 23 last year.

Defense attorneys for McMichael and the two other white men currently on trial for Arbery’s murder have argued their clients were lawfully trying to make a citizen’s arrest after suspecting Arbery of committing a crime.

McMichael told jurors that Arbery’s demeanor had struck as him as suspicious when he pulled up alongside him in his truck.

Prosecutor Linda Dunikoski pressed McMichael on whether Arbery ever reached into his pockets, brandished any weapons, yelled or threatened him.

“No,” McMichael said.

“He just ran?” the prosecutor asked.

“Yes,” McMichael said.

Travis McMichael.
Travis McMichael admitted that Ahmaud Arbery never reached into his pockets, brandished any weapons, yelled or threatened him.
Stephen B. Morton/Pool/Getty Images
McMichaels talk to police.
Travis McMichael told the court he was “probably being choppy” with his police statement.

McMichael earlier said neighbors had indicated that something had happened down the road and he wanted to ask Arbery about it, but Arbery started to run when McMichael told him police were on the way.

When asked why he didn’t include some details of his testimony in his written statement to police — including the part about him telling Arbery police were on the way — McMichael said he was “under stress, nervous, scared” during his police interview.

Ahmaud Arbery.
Travis McMichael told jurors that Ahmaud Arbery’s demeanor had struck as him as suspicious.
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He admitted he was “probably being choppy” with his police statement.

“What were you nervous about?” the prosecutor asked.

“I just killed a man,” McMichael said. “I had blood on myself. It was the most traumatic event of my life.”

“You were nervous because you thought you were going to jail, right?” the prosecutor asked.

McMichael responded: “No. I gave them a statement.”

A day earlier, under defense questioning, McMichael told jurors he made a split-second “life-or-death” decision after Arbery attacked him and grabbed his shotgun.

“He struck me, he had my gun. It was obvious he was attacking me. This is a life-or-death situation. I’m going to have to stop him from doing this,” McMichael testified on Wednesday.

McMichael, his father, Gregory McMichael, and their neighbor William “Roddie” Bryan are on trial for Arbery’s murder after they chased him down in the Satilla Shores neighborhood.

Greg McMichael.
Greg McMichael wipes his eyes during a recess in the testimony of his son Travis McMichael during their trial.
Stephen B. Morton/AP

The McMichaels are accused of arming themselves and chasing down Arbery in their truck after they spotted him running past their home. Bryan joined the chase in his own truck and filmed the younger McMichael shooting Arbery at close range with his shotgun.

The defense has argued Travis McMichael fired in self-defense after Arbery tried to take his gun.

All three men have pleaded not guilty to murder and other charges.

With Post wires

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