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Judge denies defense's motion for mistrial for men accused of killing Ahmaud Arbery

Travis McMichael, his father Gregory McMichael and William "Roddie" Bryan are all charged with the murder of Ahmaud Arbery.

BRUNSWICK, Ga. — **WARNING: Videos contained in this article may be disturbing to some.

The seventh day of testimony in the trial in the death of Ahmaud Arbery continues Monday in Brunswick.

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 "Roddie" Bryan, who recorded the video, are all charged with murder in Arbery's death.

RELATED: Black pastors should be restricted like spectators in a mob trial, says attorney for one of men accused of killing Ahmaud Arbery

Live Updates:

Monday, Nov. 15:

4:26 p.m. Court adjourns for Monday.

3:36 p.m. GBI agent Brian Leopard takes the stand and takes out the shotgun used to shoot Ahmaud Arbery. Jesse Jackson takes the arms of both of Arbery's parents during his testimony. 

Leopard explains how to load and fire the weapon as jury intently listens to his testimony. One woman nods in agreement as he explains a lever has to be remove for the weapon to fire.

2:26 p.m.: As the video plays again, pool says jurors watch frame-by-frame version of video. At least two women lean forward on the edges of their seats. Again, Wanda Cooper-Jones bows her head and takes Jackson’s hand as he offers it to her.

1:30 p.m.: State calls more GBI agents: Jesse Worley, Special Agent Lawrence Kelly. State plays video of shooting slowed down a few times, you can hear the three shots fired each time. 

Wanda Cooper-Jones closes eyes while video is played.

1 p.m.: Court resumes. 

DURING LUNCH: The Rev. Jesse Jackson said he expects to be in the courtroom for the duration of the trial. Regarding the accusations that he’s trying to influence jurors by being in the courtroom: “I don’t know any of them”

Calls the death of Arbery “a crime against humanity” and calls for justice.

Jackson’s response to defense’s motion for mistrial citing his presence as part of the reason for their motion: 

“I’ve been called a lot of names other than Jesse Jackson.”  

12 p.m.: Court in recess for lunch.

11:38 a.m.: Judge denies motion for mistrial. Warns state and defense "your words have impact on a lot of what is going on" inside and outside courtroom.

11:21 a.m.: Gough says presence of high-profile pastors and recent outburst of someone weeping in the courtroom hasn't allowed for  a fair trial. Says people in town are fearful of potential violence depending on what verdict is 

11:07 a.m.: JUDGE: “At this point, it’s almost like you’re trying to continue this for purposes other than bringing it to the court’s attention… I’m done talking about it Mr. Gough” 

11:06 a.m.: Gough objects to The Rev. Jesse Jackson in courtroom. Gough says seats in courtroom are "not like courtside seats at a Lakers game." Gough says Jackson is "prominent icon in Civil Rights era" and could influence jurors.

10:59 a.m.: Prosecution tells court they'll be calling lay witness next who can talk about Arbery being an avid runner. Prosecutors wanted to let court know testimony won't allow the defense to bring Arbery's probation status into court. Defense argues probation could be reason why he's running 

10:50 a.m.: During recess, Gough "casts a long glance at the gallery toward the back row where Rev. Jesse Jackson is seated. During recess, prosecutor walks over to Marcus Arbery Sr. “You hanging in there? We’re getting close to the finish line. Where’s your attorney today? She’s not here? It’s good to see you. You’re so strong.” She tells Rev. Jackson “It’s an honor to be doing this.”

10 a.m.: The Rev. Jessee Jackson sits in between Wanda Cooper-Jones and Marcus Arbery Sr.

9:50 a.m.: The Rev. Jesse Jackson shows up outside the courtroom linked arm-in-arm with Ahmaud's parents, chanting "Justice for Ahmaud." Jackson is a civil rights activist, Baptist minister, and politician. He was a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1984 and 1988. 

9:10 a.m.: Gough said this morning "in my understanding in a case like this, that would be best practice," (to keep track of who comes into gallery). Judge says if someone is in gallery that's their right, he won't track who comes in and out, if disruptive he will address that.

9:09 a.m.: We start today with William Roddie Bryan's attorney, Kevin Gough, asking judge to ask the sheriff, bailiffs to identify and keep track of people in the gallery of courtroom. Comes after Gough's statements last week saying "we don't want any more Black pastors coming in here." 

Gough said Thursday he thought "high profile members of the African American community" could influence, intimidate jurors. He apologized Friday, an apology several didn't find genuine. 

9 a.m.:  Day 7 of testimony, week 5 of the trial underway in death of Ahmaud Arbery. State will continue questioning GBI Agent Jason Seacrist, and call other GBI agents today. 


RELATED: 'Asinine and ridiculous:' Defense attorney disavows comment about Black pastors in death of Ahmaud Arbery trial

Friday, Nov. 12:

4:45 p.m.: Court ends for the day.

3:34 p.m.: National civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who represents the father of Ahmaud Arbery, issued a statement, responding to criticism by William “Roddie” Bryan’s attorney, Kevin Gough, about Rev. Al Sharpton and other Black pastors attending the trial.

“The parents of Ahmaud Arbery suffered the unspeakable loss of their son, who was hunted down, cornered and shot, for being a Black man jogging in a white neighborhood. It is not illegal or inappropriate for Black pastors to be present to support the parents of Ahmaud or any other Black victims. We are going to bring 100 Black pastors to pray with the family next week, and we welcome all those who want to show their support and add their prayers to ours.”

2:36 p.m.: Earlier, Wanda Cooper-Jones told First Coast News she doesn’t think Gough’s apology was sincere. Arbery’s father said “what apology” when asked about it. 

2:09 p.m.: "I figured he had shot somebody," Bryan continued in the interview with Seacrist. Seacrist says Bryan told him he hadn't seen the surveillance videos from home under construction and didn't even know they existed 

2:06 p.m.: Seacrist said when he interviewed Bryan in May 2020, he asked Bryan what made him think Arbery did something wrong. "It was just instinct man, I don't know," Bryan replied. 

1:55 p.m.: Travis McMichael and Roddie Bryan were taking notes at various points during Agent Seacrist's testimony. Greg McMichael is alternating his gaze between the jury box and the witness stand. Jurors in the box all focused on Agent Seacrist and Larissa Ollivierre, many of them taking notes. 

1:47 p.m.: Wanda-Cooper Jones returns at 1:47 p.m.

1:30 p.m.: Marcus Arbery returned to the courtroom at 1:30 p.m.

1:27 p.m.: We're back in court. The state calls its next witness, GBI Agent Jason Seacrist. Wanda-Cooper Jones and Marcus Arbery have not returned.

1:15 p.m.: Travis McMichael's attorney, Jason Sheffield, distances himself from Gough. Sheffield tells us Gough's statement was "totally asinine, ridiculous ... in no way do we want to exclude anyone from this process. Everyone is welcome. Come one come all."

12:20 p.m: Recess for lunch.

12:09 p.m.: State redirect: "Was it your intent to deputize them [the McMichaels]?" "Never," Rash says. Rash says he wanted Greg to be witness, call 911, direct police where to go if they see unidentified many. Rash said it would be up to English if he wanted to press trespassing charges. 

11:11 a.m.: Rubin asks Rash if he was ok Travis and Greg were out helping him look for unidentified man Feb. 11, 2020. Rash says yes. Rash says he knew Travis was armed, didn't tell Greg, Travis to go home and let them handle it.

11:08 a.m.: Cross-examination: defense attorney Bob Rubin asks Rash if he went into the home with guns drawn, searching for an unidentified man. Rash says yes because Travis told dispatch man reached for pocket, waistband when he saw him and may be armed. Said heart was pumping, adrenaline flowing.

11:06 a.m.: Dunikoski objects to Rubin's use of the word "intruder". Judge Walmsley reminds jurors that the questions and statements made by lawyers are not evidence, allows Rubin to proceed.  

10:44 a.m- Jurors briefly retired to jury room so prosecutors can take up objection/issue with Officer Rash's testimony.

10:15 a.m.: Rash calls homeowner of the construction site, Larry English, while at home on Feb. 11. English says he sent video that night of unidentified man to neighbor Diego Perez and will send Rash video. Travis and Bryan McMichael seen taking notes as Rash testifies. 

10 a.m.: Rash heard saying to Travis and Greg in bodycam video that this unidentified male has been caught on camera several times and no one knows who he is. Describes him as "light skinned Black male ... he has twist hair ... sleeve tattoos"

9:49 a.m.: Marcus Arbery arrived in the courtroom at 9:49 a.m. with Chris O'Neal.

9:25 a.m.: Robert Rash with the Glynn County Police Department called to the stand. He testifies he was called to a construction site for a 'burglary in progress' roughly a week before Ahmaud Arbery died. Court plays bodycam footage.

9:21 a.m.: Wanda Cooper Jones, Ahmaud Arbery's mother, arrives in the courtroom.

9:02 a.m.: William Roddie Bryan’s attorney, Kevin Gough, offers a statement regarding his comments Thursday. "My apologies to anyone who may have inadvertently been offended," he said.

RELATED: 'We don't want any more Black pastors coming in here:' Defense lawyer argues in death of Ahmaud Arbery trial

9 a.m.: Court begins.

8:54 a.m.: Civil Rights advocate Benjamin Crump tweets that it is not illegal for Black pastors to support the parents of Ahmaud Arbery or any other Black victims. Promises to bring 100 Black pastors to pray with the family next week.

8:30 a.m.: Keitha Nelson speaks with trial attorney Richard Kuritz about the case for the three men accused of killing Ahmaud Arbery. Kuritz says that the trial is "not going well" and finds fault with how the Judge and lawyers are handling the case. 

Specifically, Kuritz was critical of Judge Timothy Walmsley for not telling attorneys about Rev. Al Sharpton being in the courtroom.

He tells Nelson that he would not be surprised if we saw a future appeal in this case if a conviction is reached.

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