x
Breaking News
More () »

A look ahead to jury selection in the death of Ahmaud Arbery trial

"You wonder sometimes is it ever truly possible to have an impartial jury,"- Latoya Williams Shelton, FCN Legal Analyst.

BRUNSWICK, Ga. — Jury selection begins Monday for the trial of three men accused of murder in the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery. The jury selection process is set to last two weeks with a pool of 1,000 people summoned as potential jurors.

“My thoughts going into this trial is we want justice to be done the right way,” Kimberly Cummings, the aunt of Ahmaud Arbery said. “We don't want it to be unjust.”

Cummings is one of nine siblings. She has a large family with many ties to Brunswick, a small town where virtually everyone is somehow connected.

When it comes to choosing a fair jury, that complicates things.

“We're going to have people that are exempt because of their bias and because they've already formed opinions,” Latoya Williams Shelton, First Coast News Legal Analyst, said.

Shelton is not involved in the case but like Glynn County Commissioner, Allen Booker, she's watching it closely.

"I really am concerned about the folk on the jury,” Booker said. “That's going to be critical in this and how they will see Ahmaud and how they would see the McMichaels. There are a number of people who think like the McMichaels. They believe they were justified."

One out of every 85 Glynn County residents have received a jury summons. 600 of them are set to show up at a courthouse annex building Monday and another 400 are on standby waiting to be hit with a barrage of questions by attorneys.

"Their questions are going to be more so geared toward putting jurors or not have jurors they don't believe will be impartial,” Shelton said. “Are they going to be able to listen to the evidence and come to a conclusion?"

Arbery’s death and the trial of Travis and Gregory Michael, and William Bryan is a national story, in a small town with massive implications.

“This is one of those cases again that could set the precedence not only in Georgia but everywhere else,” Shelton said.

"I don't care what jury you pick it's going to be guilty,” Cummings exclaimed. “It's going to be guilty because if you look at the video he was fighting for his life."

The potential jurors were all sent a three page questionnaire asking if they have followed the case and what they already know about it. They’ll be questioned in both groups and individually by lawyers at the courthouse. The judge will seat 12 people and 4 alternates.

RELATED: Ahmaud Arbery's accused killers don't want the jury to see this photo, judge asked to ban it from trial

RELATED: Timeline in shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery, what you should know about trial of accused killers

RELATED: 1,000 people summoned as possible jurors in Ahmaud Arbery slaying trial

Credit: First Coast News
Gregory McMichael, Travis McMichael, and William "Roddie" Bryan are suspects in the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery.