Ahead of Travis McMichael taking to the the stand in his own defense Thursday morning, defense attorneys raised several issues with the judge.
Here’s what happened:
Kevin Gough, the attorney for William “Roddie” Bryan Jr., one of the co-defendants in the Ahmaud Arbery murder trial, told the court his client will not testify in his own defense.
“Mr. Bryan has no intention of testifying at the trial of this case. If the state wants the testimony of Mr. Bryan, they can dismiss the indictment in this case against him with prejudice as to all counts, then there’d be something to talk about,” Gough said.
Attorneys for Travis McMichael also asked the court to prevent the state from questioning Travis McMichael on a racial epithet that he allegedly used after Arbery was shot and killed. The epithet was disclosed by the case’s lead GBI investigator during a preliminary hearing.
“We don’t believe it’s proper to ask that question at this point. Given it’s not, there is no admissible evidence of that epithet,” said Robert (Bob) Rubin, one of Travis McMichael’s attorneys.
Judge Timothy Walmsley said he would consider the cases provided by the attorneys and would provide a decision before Travis McMichael’s testimony concludes.
In yet another attempt to keep Reverends Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson out of the courtroom, Gough filed a third motion to “prohibit any further conduct that may intimidate or influence jurors” on behalf of his client. To persuade the court to ban the pair, Gough shared a case from 1990, where Nation of Islam leader, Minister Louis Farrakhan was excluded from the public gallery of a trial.
Walmsley denied the motion saying that he had already ruled on it and the court was not going to address the matter, noting that the two ministers were not in the courtroom at the time.
Jackson entered the courtroom shortly before 10 a.m. ET sitting next to Wanda Cooper-Jones, Arbery’s mother, according to a pool reporter in the courtroom.
The state’s cross-examination of Travis McMichael continued after the discussion.
In the overflow room at the courthouse, people in the room were wearing shirts with “I support Black pastors,” a pool reporter inside the courthouse said.
A large rally and march in support of the Arbery family is expected later today.