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Prosecutors expected to fight jury instruction on Citizens Arrest law, targeting a key defense argument in death of Ahmaud Arbery trial

According to Lee Merritt, Arbery's mother's attorney, prosecutors told him the defense hasn't established a citizen's arrest defense.

BRUNSWICK, Ga. — After 10 days of testimony, jurors have heard all the evidence in the murder trial in the death of Ahmaud Arbery.

Friday, the court will hold a charge conference at 10 a.m. Both sides will meet to create jury instructions. The judge will then read those instructions to the jury before they deliberate.

While most states have standard jury instructions, the prosecution and the defense can suggest specific instructions they want to give jurors. Each side will have to file requests to charge if they want to add something. 

According to Lee Merritt, Arbery's mother's attorney, prosecutors plan to request that the defendants can't be charged on a citizen's arrest defense.

"We spoke with the prosecution shortly afterward [after court Thursday]," Merritt said. "They're going to make a strong push of the fact that they shouldn't be charged on a citizen's arrest defense. They haven't established it," he said.

"In order to establish a citizen's arrest defense, you have to establish that you witnessed a crime, or were in the immediate knowledge of a crime, and we didn't see that, you know, there was no immediate knowledge of the crime. They [the defendants] never witnessed a crime," Merritt said. 

"So, there will be a huge debate tomorrow about whether or not the jury will even be instructed on probably one of the more controversial parts of the case, which is the citizen's arrest defense," he said.

Closing arguments start Monday morning. 

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