Jurors see gruesome police photos of Ahmaud Arbery's wounds | KSTP.com

Jurors see gruesome police photos of Ahmaud Arbery's wounds

Defense attorney Robert Rubin speaks during the trial of William Photo: Octavio Jones/Pool Photo via AP. Defense attorney Robert Rubin speaks during the trial of William "Roddie" Bryan, Travis McMichael and Gregory McMichael, charged with the February 2020 death of 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery, at the Gwynn County Superior Court, in Brunswick, Ga., Friday, Nov. 5, 2021.

Associated Press
Created: November 08, 2021 10:55 AM

Jurors were shown graphic, close-up police photos Monday of the gunshot wounds that killed Ahmaud Arbery, the 25-year-old Black man who was slain after being chased by white men in pickup trucks who saw him running in their Georgia neighborhood.

Glynn County police Sgt. Sheila Ramos walked the jury through dozens of crime scene photos she took about an hour after the shooting on Feb. 23, 2020. She said she collected two spent shotgun shells at the scene, and investigators found a third fired shell still inside the bloodstained 12-gauge shotgun.

Arbery's father, Marcus Arbery Sr., left the courtroom before graphic photos of his son's body were shown in open court. Wanda Cooper-Jones, the slain man's mother, stayed and could be heard exhaling quietly as Ramos identified closeup images of a gaping shotgun wound in her son's chest.

Father and son Greg and Travis McMichael armed themselves and used a pickup truck to pursue Arbery after they spotted him running in their neighborhood. A neighbor, William “Roddie” Bryan, joined the chase and took cellphone video of Travis McMichael shooting Arbery in the street at close range.

No arrests were made for more than two months, until the video of the killing leaked online and sparked a national outcry, deepening a national reckoning over racial injustice. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation took over the case from local police. Both McMichaels and Bryan were soon charged with murder and other crimes.

Defense attorneys said the men were justified to chase and attempt to detain Arbery because he had been recorded by security cameras inside a nearby home under construction and they suspected he was a burglar. They say Travis McMichael fired in self-defense when Arbery attacked him with fists and tried to grab his gun.

Several jurors could be seen squirming in their seats as Ramos showed Arbery's body lying in the street under a bloodstained covering. Other images showed the cover pulled back and his shirt raised so she could photograph gunshot wounds to his wrist as well as grievous injuries to his chest and underneath one of his arms.

Ramos said Arbery had nothing in his pockets — no keys, cellphone, wallet or ID. Police identified his body using his fingerprints, she said.

She also photographed a home near the shooting scene where one of the shotgun blasts sent a projectile through a front window and into an inside wall. No one at the home was injured.

The jury seated Friday for the trial is disproportionately white. Prosecutors complained at the end of jury selection last week that several Black potential jurors were excluded because of their race, leaving only one Black juror on the panel of 12.

Superior Court Judge Timothy Walmsley said he found that “intentional discrimination” by defense attorneys appeared to have shaped jury selection. But he said Georgia law limited his authority to intervene.

(Copyright 2021 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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