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Jail phone calls from father and son charged in killing of Ahmaud Arbery released

Greg and Travis McMichael briefly discussed the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery with friends and family.

BRUNSWICK, Ga. — Two men accused in the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery have been mostly silent since their arrest, however, this week their voices were heard as new evidence was released.

First Coast News heard directly from the father and son for the first time this week as hours of evidence in their murder case became public.

On Wednesday, we reported on the police bodycam footage from the moments after the 25-year-old was killed.

The two men told officers they thought Arbery was stealing when they chased him in a truck and shot him. Both men entered not guilty pleas to the charges against them.

Greg McMichael and Travis McMichael's calls from jail to family members and friends were also released.

Phone records and jail calls show the two men made many calls starting from the day of the shooting.

“My son and I have been involved in a shooting, and I need some advice right away,” Greg McMichael said in a voicemail left to his former boss Jackie Johnson, Brunswick DA who recused herself from the case due to a conflict of interest.

Nearly three months passed before cell phone video of the shooting was released, sparking protests in the Satilla Shores neighborhood and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation getting involved in the investigation.

Greg McMichael called a friend on May 11, 2020, sounding aggravated.

“This narrative that we shot a Black kid for running through a white neighborhood is absolute bull****, absolute f****** bull****,” McMichael said.

Both McMichaels told family and friends they thought a political narrative was developing around the shooting.

Most of the calls were placed to Greg McMichael's wife and to friends like Zack Langford, who testified on the McMichaels' behalf during a bond hearing last month.

Travis McMichael discussed what he hopes to do beyond the case.

"As long as I get to see my kid grow up that’s all that matters to me," he said.

"I don’t see how you could lose this, I just don’t see it,” the caller replied.

The men discussed a few details during the calls, some as long as 15 minutes. Greg McMichael did not directly respond to a question about whether or not he saw the viral cell-phone video of the shooting, shot by a third suspect, William "Roddie" Bryan.

“He’s an ally, I can tell you that,” McMichael said.

Greg McMichael believes he was "filleted and laid out as a sacrificial lamb."

“You’ve heard the saying that no good deed goes unpunished? Hahaha," Greg McMichael said.

"Yeah, that's the shining example right there," a friend replied.

Some excerpts of these calls were played before a judge during November's bond hearing.

The phone calls confirm there was "community support" for the father and son, although a judge deemed them too high risk to be released from jail.

All three men charged in Arbery's death are being held without bond.


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