“The truth will reveal that this is not just another act of violent racism,” said Frank Hogue at a press conference. “Greg McMichael didn’t commit a murder.”
Gregory McMichael, 64, and his son Travis McMichael, 34, are accused of aggravated assault and criminal murder in the death of Arbery on February 23, who was killed while jogging just outside Brunswick, Georgia. Travis McMichael is the alleged shooter in the case.
Hogue, together with his wife Laura Hogue, represent Gregory McMichael. The couple is part of a criminal defense law firm in Macon, Georgia.
“Our client has not been accused as his son,” said Laura Hogue. “He was charged as part of the crime, which is a Georgia statute that holds an individual who helps or favors or facilitates a crime, with the same responsibility as the individual who actually perpetrated the crime.”
The incident was captured by a video that went public last week.
“There are a number of videos that have been released,” said Laura Hogue. “There are a number of photographs. There are a number of recordings. All of these will have to be assimilated, and in particular important, so that every single second, our hope is, will put together the truth of what happened on 23.
“We know many other crucial facts, those facts that indicate a very different narrative from the one that brings you all here today.”
Hogue stated that “preliminary” hearing and bond hearing for Gregory McMichael “soon”
Arbery was jogging in the Satilla Shores neighborhood outside Brunswick when he was shot dead on February 23, according to an incident report from the Glynn County Police Department.
Elder McMichael told police that he thought Arbery looked like a suspect in a series of recent raids, according to the accident report.
Gregory McMichael grabbed a gun while his son grabbed a shotgun and chased Arbery into a truck, police reportedly reported by his father.
When they reached him, Travis McMichael got out of the truck with a shotgun and a fight ensued between him and Arbery, according to the report and video of the accident. Gregory McMichael was in the truck’s bed when the shooting took place, according to the report and video.
Arbery has been shot three times, including two in the chest, according to an autopsy report from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation obtained by CNN.
Arbery family lawyers comment on the security video
The surveillance video of a house under construction appears to show Arbery on the site minutes before he was killed on February 23. In that video, a man can be seen walking and not touching anything.
A man who identified himself as Travis McMichael called 911 on February 11 and told the operator that he saw a man enter the house under construction, according to a police report. The surveillance video showing an African American man on the property on February 11 was recorded by motion sensor security cameras installed by the property owner, Larry English, according to his attorney, Elizabeth Graddy.
The Englishman told CNN that he was unable to identify the person he says he saw on the video after the February 11 incident. He did not report the incident to the police, he said.
In a new statement on Friday, Graddy said it appears that the man in the February 11 video was also filmed at home last fall and December 17. He said the man may have entered the house for water because he saw his mouth dry in the December 17 video. Graddy said there is a source of water at the pier behind the house and a source near the front.
“In his latest footage captured on December 17, what looks like water can be heard. He leaves home, runs and disappears from view,” according to Graddy’s statement.
Arbery’s family lawyers also claim they don’t know who the individual is in the February 11 video.
On Friday, lawyers for Ahmaud Arbery’s mother and father, S. Lee Merritt, Benjamin Crump and L. Chris Stewart, released a video statement.
“We looked at a series of videos released by the lawyer for the owner of the house under construction,” says the note. “We are unable to confirm that Ahmaud Arbery appeared in one video, however we are unable to confirm that he has appeared in other videos.”
The statement said there were often people on the construction site both day and night, but Ahmaud Arbery “appears to be the only one allegedly a criminal”.
“We appreciate the owner of the house acknowledging that Mr. Arbery has not stolen or damaged anything on the property. It is the owner’s opinion, after seeing Mr. Arbery’s movements in the video, that he stopped briefly in the house under construction to get a drink of water. from the work sinks, “according to the statement.
The new prosecutor “had professional interactions” with the suspect
Due to a change of venue order, Cobb prosecutors tried a case in Brunswick in the fall of 2016 and used office space in Glynn’s district attorney’s office, Holmes said.
“At the time, Cobb’s trial team had professional interactions with employees of Glynn’s district attorney’s office, including their investigator, Gregory McMichael,” Holmes wrote in his statement. “Also, in the spring of 2017, a former investigator from our office communicated with McMichael to find a witness who lived in Glynn County and was needed to testify in a Cobb murder case. Jesse Evans and McMichael.”
Holmes said he discussed his contacts with Gregory McMichael with Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr before accepting the appointment
“Professional interactions between prosecutors and even law enforcement agencies are on the agenda and do not create a legal or factual conflict in proceeding to a case,” he said.
Arbery’s mother, sister, participates in the virtual town hall
Ahmaud Arbery’s mother, Wanda Cooper, and sister, Jasmine Arbery, attended a virtual town hall on Friday to discuss “social justice issues, racial disparities and the criminal justice system in the United States,” according to a Press release.
“Ahmaud Arbery was my younger brother,” said Jasmine Arbery. “Talking about him is like taking a breath of fresh air. If you notice, I’m smiling right now.”
Wanda Cooper thanked the younger participants from the town hall, saying “You will be our voice in the future”.
The family did not mention the legal aspects of the case. The town hall was hosted by the Boys & Girls Clubs of Dane County, the Coastal Georgia Area Community Action Authority Inc. and Madison365.
Correction: This article and title have been updated to correct a quote from Frank Hogue, an attorney for Gregory McMichael. The quote was missing a word and has been corrected.
Angela Barajas and Erica Henry of CNN contributed to this report.
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