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Two men accused of killing Ahmaud Arbery asking judge for bail

Arbery was killed in February in a Brunswick, Georgia, neighborhood. Police reports said the McMichaels pursued him in their truck.

BRUNSWICK, Ga. — The bond hearing for two of the three men charged in the killing of Ahmaud Arbery was held Thursday morning.

Greg McMichael and Travis McMichael, who are accused of following and shooting Arbery in Brunswick back in February, appeared virtually to ask a judge for bond. 

The father and son sat quietly as they watched friends and family testify on their behalf.

State prosecutors asked the judge to throw out the evidence for the bond hearing including the alleged crime by Arbery, and the judge granted that request.

Judge Timothy Walmsley, a superior court judge from Chatham County, also allowed social media posts and text messages to be introduced into the hearing.

A text message was brought up during Zachary Langford's testimony, who is a friend of Travis McMichael.

State prosecutors produced text messages from Travis McMichael about "shooting a crackhead c-(racial slur) with gold teeth," to which Langford said he remembered sending that message.

Arbery's family attorney Lee Merritt claimed the McMichaels were racially motivated in following Arbery through the Satilla Shores neighborhood.

“There is ample evidence you’ll be hearing in a rebuttal to that claim of defense, these men were in fact motivated by racism,” Merritt said.

Arbery's mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones said it was heartbreaking to hear each witness say the McMichaels showed remorse for their actions.

“It was heartbreaking," she said. "Those guys have been out for 74 days, I lived in the community and no one reached out saying they were sorry for my loss... Ahmaud wasn’t allowed to go home, them [the McMichaels being] allowed to go home would be totally unfair."

State prosecutors also introduced other evidence of what they call racist social media posts and text messages.

They also claim that because of the McMichaels' hunting skills and ability to live off of the land, they pose a significant flight risk.

Cooper-Jones, who spoke in a victim impact statement at the end of the hearing felt the same way.

“These men want to go home because in their selfish minds they think they’re good guys and I and my family are left to pick up the pieces," she said. "I have suffered, I have continued to suffer immensely and emotionally."

After nearly seven hours of testimony from witnesses, the judge called a recess and will restart the hearing at 10 a.m. on Friday.

Attorneys for Travis McMichael and his father, Gregory McMichael, filed the motions for the hearing in August. Travis McMichael’s attorneys argued he is not a threat to the public nor is he a flight risk. Gregory McMichael’s attorneys also asked for an evidentiary hearing. Other motions filed by their attorneys at the time asked for the malice murder and criminal attempt to commit a felony charge to be dropped. 

The father and son, appearing virtually from the Glynn County jail, sat quietly as they watched friends and family testify on their behalf.

State prosecutors asked a judge to throw out evidence for this hearing including alleged crime by Arbery, and the judge granted that request.

Judge Timothy Walmsley, a superior court judge from Chatham County also allowed social media posts and text messages to be introduced into the hearing.

That text message was brought up during Zachary Langford's testimony, who is a friend of Travis McMichael.

State prosecutors produced text messages from Travis McMichael about "shooting a crackhead c-(racial slur) with gold teeth," to which Langford said he remembered sending that message.

Arbery's family attorney Lee Merritt claimed the McMichaels were racially motivated in following Arbery through the Satilla Shores neighborhood.

“There is ample evidence you’ll be hearing in a rebuttal to that claim of defense, these men were in fact motivated by racism,” Merritt said.

Arbery's mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones said it was heartbreaking to hear each witness say the McMichaels showed remorse for their actions.

“It was heartbreaking...Those guys have been out for 74 days, I lived in the community and no one reached out saying they were sorry for my loss,” Cooper-Jones said. “Ahmaud wasn’t allowed to go home, them [the McMichaels being] allowed to go home would be totally unfair."

RELATED: 'My days are getting harder because Ahmaud’s never coming home': Ahmaud Arbery’s mother on 7 months of mourning

According to the motions, each charge has more than one allegation, which the attorneys said is illegal.

Arbery was killed in February in a Brunswick, Georgia, neighborhood, Satilla Shores. Police reports said the McMichaels pursued him in their truck and confronted Arbery while he was running in the neighborhood. 

According to the police report, Gregory McMichael said he and his son thought Arbery was a burglar and that Arbery attacked Travis McMichael before Travis McMichael shot Arbery. 

The notice of the bond hearing said a few other matters will be addressed at the hearing. One of those includes a joint motion for the deposition of Larry English, filed by the attorneys for both of the McMichaels. English owns a home in Satilla Shores that was under construction at the time of the killing. Video obtained by First Coast News shows someone, whom a prosecutor identifies as Arbery, entering that home, walking around and leaving shortly before the deadly confrontation.

The McMichaels and the third man, William Roddie Bryan, who recorded video of the killing, pleaded not guilty to the nine charges against each of them, including malice murder, in July. 

A judge denied all three men bond at that hearing.

RELATED: Ahmaud Arbery's family, community leaders ask court to deny bond to shooting suspects