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Nearly half of those questioned move on to next round after day three of jury selection in federal hate crimes trial for Ahmaud Arbery's killers

So far, 52 potential jurors have qualified total to move on to the next round of questioning set for Monday. Opening statements could start early next week.

BRUNSWICK, Ga. — By the end of day three of jury selection in the federal hate crimes trial for the three men convicted of murdering Ahmaud Arbery, 52 potential jurors had qualified for the next round of questioning total.

That's nearly half of all of those questioned. Jury selection is moving a lot faster in the federal case compared to the state case. At this same point in the state case, just 15 people had been selected. 

By the end of Wednesday, 111 people had been questioned total. Fifty-nine were excused, and 52 will go through further questioning Monday. 

Wednesday, out of the morning and afternoon groups, five people moved ahead to the next round out of 24 questioned. Of those five, one was a white man, one was a Black woman and three were white women. 

The judge wants between 50 and 60 qualified potential jurors in place before they start narrowing that down to 12 jurors and four alternates. Opening statements will likely happen early next week.

Arbery’s father, aunt and Barbara Arnwine from the Transformative Justice Coalition were in court again Wednesday. They said they’re happy so far with the pace of jury selection, and hope the final jury panel is representative of the counties in Georgia’s Southern Federal Court District where the potential jurors are pulled from. 

Arbery's father, Marcus Arbery Sr., said they're ready to get justice for Ahmaud again.

"My family is strong," he said. "We already know what time it is and we know Ahmaud has been lynched and racial profiled by these three racist men, and so we’re going for 100 percent justice again. We beat them round one and we are going to beat them round two," Arbery Sr. said.

U.S. District Court Judge Lisa Godbey Wood said the court summoned 1,000 people for jury duty, the same number that was called for the state trial. In the federal trial, however, they pulled people from all 43 counties in Georgia's Southern Federal Court district to try to get a fair and impartial jury of 12 jurors and four alternates.

Once the jury is picked, the judge said the trial will last seven to 12 days.

Of the 17 who qualified Tuesday, three were Black men, five were white men and nine were white women. 

In November, a jury found both Travis and Gregory McMichael and their former neighbor, William Roddie Bryan, guilty of murder in Arbery's death. The three white men chased 25-year-old Arbery, who was Black, through Brunswick's Satilla Shores neighborhood before Travis McMichael shot Arbery.

A judge sentenced the men to life in prison in January for the state charges. 

Court will start at nine a.m. Thursday morning. 

Live Updates

2:05 p.m.: Two out of the 12 potential jurors questioned this morning qualified for next round of questioning Monday. (1 Black woman, 1 white woman). 

As of now, 49 total are qualified for next round and 99 total have been questioned. Second group today starts at 2 p.m.

Judge said the trial will last 7 to 10 days when jury is set vs. the 7 to 12 day timeline she had been giving

Opening statements, likely to happen early next week (probably Tuesday)

Arbery’s father and aunt, Barbara Arnwine in courtroom again this morning

9 a.m.: Jury selection is scheduled to resume. The process is moving along faster than expected, with opening statements likely to start early next week.

RELATED: Seventeen more potential jurors qualify to next round of questioning after Day 2 of jury selection in hate crimes trial for Ahmaud Arbery's murderers

Arbery's family said they're happy with the makeup of the pool right now and the pace of jury selection so far. They had a front row seat as 10 out of the 16 potential jurors questioned in the afternoon group Tuesday raised their hands to indicate they believe the defendants are guilty. All 10 were dismissed, most saying they didn't think they could change their opinions or be fair. 

Monday, 30 potential jurors moved forward to the next round of questioning. The remaining 22 potential jurors questioned were dismissed.

RELATED: Why are the 3 men convicted of murdering Ahmaud Arbery getting a second trial?

RELATED: Racist texts should be allowed in the hate crimes trial of 3 men convicted of murdering Ahmaud Arbery, prosecutors argue

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