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Defense attorneys argue for bond to be granted to father, son charged with murdering Ahmaud Arbery

The bond hearing resumed Friday at 10 a.m.

BRUNSWICK, Ga. — Update: Day two of the bond hearing has ended.  The judge denied bond to Greg McMichael and Travis McMichael. 11Alive streamed the hearing online. You can watch it here.

Below is a recap of the first day of the bond hearing on Thursday.


Court is in recess for the bond hearing for the father and son charged with murdering Ahmaud Arbery.

But before the hearing could begin, attorneys spent an hour arguing over what evidence should be allowed in the hearing. The focus of the hearing would be the character of Gregory McMichael and his son Travis McMichael as the defense attempted to convince a judge the pair should be released on bond.

Thursday marked the first court hearing for both since they were initially denied bond by a judge in July.

Gregory and Travis McMichael each face nine charges in the shooting of Arbery, who was running in a Brunswick neighborhood in February when he was accosted by the pair and a third suspect, William “Roddie” Bryan.

Bryan is also charged with murder and was previously denied bond. All three defendants have pleaded not guilty.

RELATED: Ahmaud Arbery’s mom on hate crimes bill passing in Georgia: ‘His name will live on forever.’

In the arguments immediately before Thursday’s bond hearing, attorneys made their cases for whether certain evidence showing the character of Arbery and the defendants could be used during the hearing.

The evidence included previous text messages and social media posts made by and shared with the McMichaels. The messages and posts were described as racist by prosecutors.

Judge Timothy Walmsley ruled the evidence would be allowed during the bond hearing, but attorneys wouldn’t be able to characterize Ahmaud Arbery.

During the hearing, Gregory and Travis McMichael appeared in court on a monitor while sitting together at a table in a separate room.

Allison McMichael, Gregory’s wife, and Travis’ mother testified. She described Travis’ responsibility to his 4-year-old son while discussing he wouldn’t be a flight risk.

RELATED: Ahmaud Arbery's mom says suspects' hearing gave her a 'sense of closure' of last minutes of her son's life

“He loves his son and he will stand up to his responsibility,” she said.

Allison also detailed Travis saving several lives between his time as a lifeguard and during his time in the Coast Guard. She added that multiple families have said they’re willing to help the father and son with posting any bond.

A close friend, Zachary Langford, was asked during the hearing about an old text sent to him by Travis.

"Do you recall that text exchange between you and defendant Travis McMichael in which he is discussing shooting a 'black coon with gold teeth that had a high point .45?'” a prosecutor asked.

“He was referring to a raccoon,” Langford said.

“A raccoon with gold teeth and a high point .45?” the prosecutor replied.

“It was being facetious,” Langford said.

In a previous court hearing, it was testified that Travis McMichael was heard using the n-word after shooting Arbery.

Langford’s wife Ashley Langford testified to Travis admitted to being remorseful following the shooting, stating that he wished it never happened and praying for the Arbery family.

RELATED: Testimony claims McMichael called Ahmaud Arbery n-word after killing him

Several witnesses in court stated Travis has always been respectful to people of diverse backgrounds and they didn’t believe he would be a flight risk. After calling several witnesses to testify on Travis's behalf, attorneys called witnesses to speak on Gregory’s behalf, which brought Allison McMichael back to the stand.

She said her husband isn’t a flight risk if released on bond.

"Because he wants his day in court,” Allison said. “He's not going to run from his responsibility and he wants to be proven innocent."

Several other associates of Gregory's testified, including a friend, landlord and former employer. A cardiologist also testified to his health and suitability for being incarcerated.

Defense attorneys finished calling their witnesses and  prosecutors late in the afternoon started presenting evidence for their argument against bond being granted. 

Arbery's mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, read a victim impact statement during the hearing. She said her son didn't get to come home and neither should the McMichaels as they await trial. 

The judge called recess shortly after 5:30 p.m. The hearing will resume at 10 a.m. Friday.

To be granted bond a defendant’s attorney must show they won’t be a flight risk, won’t be a threat to the community, won’t commit other crimes while out on bond and won’t intimidate any possible witnesses.