A jury in Brunswick, Georgia is set to determine the fate of three white men charged with hunting down and murdering 25-year-old Black jogger Ahmaud Arbery. Lawyers for the defense made closing arguments Monday. A nearly all-white panel of 12 jurors and three alternates is set to hear a rebuttal from prosecutors today before beginning deliberations. Defense attorney Laura Hogue, who represents Greg McMichael, blamed Arbery’s own actions for his death, and she drew outrage over these comments:
Laura Hogue: “Turning Ahmaud Arbery into a victim after the choices that he made does not reflect the reality of what brought Ahmaud Arbery to Satilla Shores in his khaki shorts with no socks to cover his long dirty toenails.”
Hogue’s comment drew audible gasps from the courtroom. Ahmaud Arbery’s mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, was so upset she got up and briefly left the trial. She later condemned Hogue’s remarks.
Wanda Cooper-Jones ”She described Ahmaud as his long legs and his dirty long toenails. That was just beyond rude. Regardless of what kind of toenails he had, what sized legs he had, that was still my son and my son was actually running for his life.”
Taken together, Gregory McMichael, Travis McMichael and William Bryan face nine counts that could see each of them sentenced to life in prison.