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'He was trapped like a rat' | Prosecutor, GBI agent describe Greg McMichael as 'jovial' in moments following Ahmaud Arbery slaying

In cross examination of the agent, Travis McMichael's attorney asked if police gave aid to Arbery as he lay dying or if arrests were made. He respond "no" to both.

BRUNSWICK, Ga. — RELATED: Live Updates | FBI agent testifying, reading text messages, social media posts of Ahmaud Arbery's killers regularly using N-word, racial slurs

A GBI agent who investigated the Feb. 23, 2020 murder of Ahmaud Arbery took the stand Tuesday in the federal hate crimes trial against the convicted killers.

Prosecutors played an audio interview with Greg McMichael that was recorded hours after Arbery, a 25-year-old Black jogger, was chased and shot dead by three White men in the coastal Georgia neighborhood outside of Brunswick.

Travis McMichael, 36; his father, Gregory McMichael, 66; and their neighbor William "Roddie" Bryan, 52 were convicted in Arbery's murder.

During the audio clip prosecutors played for jurors as GBI Assistant Special Agent in Charge Richard Dial listened, Greg McMichael laughed with police as he discussed purchasing the handgun he grabbed before chasing Arbery. McMichael spent several minutes talking about how he and the seller of the firearm discussed the gun and its history. The particular gun was the same as the Brunswick Police Department issued firearm years ago, McMichael said in the recording much to the interest of the officers.

"Would you describe Mr. McMichael as jovial?" the prosecutor asked Dial after stopping the recording momentarily.

"Yes," he replied.

Once the conversation turned back to how McMichael and his son chased Arbery, the father laughed as he joked about struggling to remove his grandson's child seat as the armed men jumped into the pickup truck to chase Arbery.

McMichael then described to officers what happened in the moments before Travis McMichael shot Arbery.

"He was trapped like a rat," Greg Michael says on the recording. "He realized he wasn't going to get away. ... The guy was cornered like a rat and that was his reaction."

During her cross examination of Dial, Travis McMichael's attorney asked the him if aid was rendered to Arbery as he lay on the street dying.

"No," the officer replied.

She then asked Dial if any arrests were made in the days following Arbery's death.

"No," Dial replied.

"For some reason, that investigation died on the vine until the GBI was involved," the attorney said.

The killers were arrested May 7, 2020 after the GBI got involved. That was nearly three months after Arbery was killed.

During opening statements, prosecutors detailed what they called a consistent use of racial slurs, including the N-word, by the defendants over several years, documented in texts and social media posts. Prosecutors said Travis McMichael had referred to Black people as animals, criminals, monkeys and sub-human savages, among other names. They argued the defendants targeted Arbery based on the color of his skin.

RAW: Police video shows Ahmaud Arbery was ‘breathing,' moving when officers arrived

Credit: Family of Ahmaud Arbery
An attorney with the family said prosecutors and the victim advocate told the family jury selection is closed to the public and that they couldn't attend.

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