BRUNSWICK, Ga. — RELATED: Live Updates | Jury expected to be seated Wednesday for trial of Ahmaud Arbery's accused killers
Jury selection for the three men accused of murder in the death of Ahmaud Arbery continues Tuesday. Attorneys are hopeful they will reach the needed number of 64 qualified potential jurors Tuesday, with opening statements possible Thursday.
Arbery was shot and killed on Feb. 23, 2020. Cellphone video leaked to the public shows two armed white men in a truck approaching the 25-year-old Black man as he runs down the road. One of the men, later identified as Travis McMichael, and Arbery struggle over McMichael's shotgun before Arbery is shot and collapses.
Travis McMichael, his father Gregory McMichael and William "Roddy" Bryan, who recorded the video, are all charged with murder in Arbery's death.
Bookmark this page for live updates on the trial as they unfold.
6:08 p.m. A total of 65 jurors have qualified for the final round of jury selection, which is expected to begin Wednesday.
5:38 p.m. The all-important number of 64 potential jurors has been reached. Court now going through those questioned who will qualify to see if there will be more than 64 jurors who qualify.
5:15 p.m. Eight potential jurors questioned Tuesday could qualify to move to next round of questioning.
1:30 p.m.: The judge says most potential jurors when asked say they haven't noticed demonstrators or been influenced, but that they need to figure out why this particular potential juror was talking to the group. He says attorneys should not assume the worst about the interaction and that the court will evaluate things like this on a case-by-case basis. He has talked to the sheriff about the group of demonstrators, and they have not been disruptive, but will keep an eye on the situation to ensure a fair trial.
1:26 p.m.: Defense attorney Robert Rubin says he saw, and shot video, of a potential juror outside the courthouse during the lunch break approached by a member of the Transformative Justice Coalition, then the two hugging. Rubin says he thinks the judge should move the demonstrators to another area where potential jurors are not gathering. Defense attorney Kevin Gough filed a similar motion last week, but the judge struck it down.
1:24 p.m.: Court resumes following a lunch break. During lunch, defense attorney Jason Sheffield told First Coast News that opening statements could take place Thursday or Friday. He said opening statements will take about one hour for each defendant.
11:51 a.m.: Four jurors have been struck so far during individual questioning.
11:02 a.m.: Ahmaud Arbery's father, Marcus Arbery Sr., prays with a local rabbi and supporters before walking into the courthouse for day 11 of jury selection.
10:21 a.m.: Several potential jurors again know key players in the case, including the defendants, attorneys, defendants' family members and Arbery's family members. Several of the potential jurors also know one another, more than any group that has come before.
9:40 a.m.: Defense attorney Jason Sheffield thanks and congratulates this group of 20 potential jurors for being the first group to show up in full on time.
8:30 a.m.: Jury selection is scheduled to resume. On Monday, six additional potential jurors qualified, with four more needed to get to 64 in order to start final jury selection. Attorneys and the judge think they will reach 64 Tuesday, then strike Wednesday and finish up jury selection. Opening statements could be heard by Thursday. The defense Monday said they are concerned only 60% of those who received a summons are actually showing up, which they say could mean the potential pool may not reflect the accused.
6:30 p.m. Court adjourns until 8:30 a.m. Tuesday.
3:11 p.m. Travis McMichael's attorney hints he may file a motion hoping to ensure the pool of potential jurors is fair and reflective of the population. He says he will not make a decision until the pool of 64 jurors is decided and believes he can get an impartial jury.
"At this point, we feel like the jurors who have been qualified are jurors who can give us a fair shot," he said.
3:05 p.m.: First Coast News' Kailey Tracy says she left a message with the clerk of superior court to find out how many potential jurors summoned have not come to court.
3:02 p.m.: Defense attorney for Travis McMichael says it's "very concerning" that "60% of the jurors are not showing up. That is not right." He says that means the pool of jurors showing up does not fairly reflect the accused. "The accused can't look across the courtroom and see persons that are similarly situated to themselves, then it may be that they feel, and we as the lawyers feel, that we really don't have a fair cross-section of the population. And that would be grounds to file some type of motion to have the court perhaps enforce some higher level of attendance than we've seen thus far."
2:52 p.m.: Defense attorney for Travis McMichael says he expects jury selection to wrap Tuesday, with opening statements Wednesday or Thursday. He says he doesn't see the potential juror who qualified Friday then was struck Monday as a setback in the process.
2:15 p.m.: Individual questioning of potential jurors is underway. One potential juror says he does not think Gregory McMichael or Bryan committed murder, saying Gregory McMichael "didn't even shoot" and of Bryan, "all he had was a cellphone."
12:10 p.m.: Supporters of Arbery's family gather outside the courthouse with signs reading "Justice for Ahmaud" and cheering the family on as they walk into the courthouse.
10:26 a.m.: Bryan's Attorney Kevin Gough says four alternates may not be enough and asks the court to consider increasing the number.
10:25 a.m.: Judge Timothy Walmsley strikes potential juror 5, who qualified Friday, bringing the number of potential jurors qualified so far to 54. Another 10 are needed before selection can move to the next phase of final questioning.
8:30 a.m.: Jury selection is scheduled to resume Monday. On Friday, Gough said he was concerned about what he called underrepresentation for his client among the potential jurors, a lack of "white males born in the South over 40 years old without a college degree." Gough said he would be submitting the concern as a formal motion to look at whether this demographic is considered a constitutionally protected class of people who cannot be discriminated against.