Testimony during day 3 of Arbery trial focused on police interactions, perceived crime in the neighborhood

Published: Nov. 9, 2021 at 4:43 PM EST
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BRUNSWICK, Ga. (WTOC) - Police interactions with one of the three men charged in the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery was at the center of testimony in the Glynn County courthouse on Tuesday.

The third day of testimony included the lead officer on the preliminary investigation, as well as a Glynn County Police detective. Both spoke with Greg McMichael the day Arbery was killed in the Satilla Shores neighborhood.

The first witness of the day was Glynn County Police Officer, Jeff Brandeberry, who took the lead on the initial investigation in Satilla Shores after Arbery was shot and killed.

According to the transcription of Brandeberry’s bodycam video, Greg McMichael told Brandeberry when he saw Arbery that he thought Arbery was the same person caught on surveillance going in and out of a house under construction in the neighborhood multiple times.

The prosecution also made the argument that Greg McMichael gave his own narrative of what happened leading up to the shooting.

Lead prosecutor Linda Dunikoski - “The male speaker then ask him, ‘oh really?’ Because he just said, ‘he attacked my son.’ And what does Greg McMichael say?”

Brandeberry - “He came at him.”

Dunikoski – " And then what does Greg McMichael say?”

Brandeberry – “He tried to get the damn shotgun away.”

Dunikoski - “So, at this point in time a total stranger just walked up and he’s telling him that this is his narrative, he attacked my son, he tried to get the shotgun away.”

Officer Brandeberry continued reading bodycamera transcript. Greg McMichael was heard saying Arbery was running “flat out” and didn’t know where he’d come from. He also said he didn’t know if Arbery was armed.

Also according to bodycamera transcript, Greg McMichael admits to moving Arbery’s body after he was shot to see if he was armed.

Greg McMichael’s attorney cross examined Officer Brandeberry, asking if Greg’s account of what happened changed at all after going over it several times, Officer Brandeberry said there were no changes.

Prosecution asked Officer Brandeberry about Greg McMichael’s statement, saying “He’s the one breaking into all these houses…,” referencing Arbery. Oficcer Brandeberry says McMichael never identified which houses or showed Brandeberry any surveillance.

Greg McMichael’s attorney cross examined Officer Brandeeberry, asking if he ever asked Greg what homes were broken into or any info on burglaries, to which he answered “no.”

After a short break, Glynn County Police Detective Parker Marcy took the stand.

Prosecution walked Detective Marcy through the transcript of an interview with Greg McMichael taken at Glynn County Police Department Head Quarters the day of the shooting.

One thing argued over, even after the jury was dismissed Tuesday evening, was the use of crime data for the Satilla Shores neighborhood from January of 2019 to the day Ahmaud Arbery was killed.

In the transcript Detective Marcy read aloud, Greg McMichael told police at head quarters, just after the shooting, there had been lots of break-ins and things stolen from cars in the neighborhood, and that Arbery may have been the one behind some of that crime, including possibly stealing a gun from his son, Travis McMichael.

Lead prosecutor Linda Dunikoski argued to have crime data from Satilla Shores between January 1, 2019 to February 23, 2020 presented to the jury to disprove Greg McMichael’s statement that there had been numerous crimes in the neighborhood. The Judge allowed the crime data to be presented, which indicated there was only one unfounded burglary call and four entering auto calls between January 1, 2019 to February 23, 2020.

“The state is entitled to rebut these statements by Greg McMichael about, oh, there’s all this crime, and he’s this suspect. The statements already in, oh, they got him on video every third or fourth night out there breaking into peoples homes. And the reality is, that is not the case whatsoever,” said Lead Prosecutor Linda Dunikoski.

The defense objected to the use of this information. After further consideration, Judge Walmsley says crime data info from Satilla Shores cannot be considered by jurors unless the records are certified. Judge will ask jury to disregard testimony on that info already given by Detective Marcy.

Judge Walmsley is taking the night and may reconsider some parts of the arguments made. We may have an update on that when the trial resumes Wednesday morning.

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