The family of slain jogger Ahmaud Arbery was reportedly taken aback when they learned that a Georgia judge signed off on an almost all-White jury in the upcoming murder trial.
Judge Timothy Walmsley empaneled a jury of 11 White members and one Black person, despite publicly pinpointing what he characterized as “intentional discrimination,” on Wednesday, Nov. 3. 2021.
After learning of the Glynn County judge’s decision, Arbery’s mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, said she found the final jury selection to be “devastating,” according to 11 Alive. She added, however, that she held out faith that the jury will “make the right decision.”
Attorney Laura Hogue, who represents accused killer Greg McMichael, admitted that her inquiry of Black jurors was more intense because of the racial element of the case.
“That argument pretends as if the reality is not what it is,” Hogue told the judge in response to the prosecutors’ accusation of jury discrimination. “So the idea that we would be questioning jurors who made very clear statements about their opinions about this case, and the role that race played in this case, as we did with a number of white jurors who had strong opinions about race and the role that race played in this case — those are the folks that we’re going to do the deep dive with.”
Arbery was jogging a the mostly homogenous neighborhood in the coastal Georgia city of Brunswick in February 2020. He was chased down and accosted by three White men — Gregory and his son Travis McMichael and their friend William “Roddie” Bryan.
Armed with shotguns, the father and son tried to detain Arbery. When a surprised Arbery resisted, he was executed at point-blank range by the son Travis McMichael, who shot Arbery three times.
All three have pled not guilty to murder.