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Travis McMichael, convicted of murder and hate crimes in Arbery case, fights for acquittal

Travis McMichael was convicted both of Arbery's murder and committing a federal hate crime. He is petitioning for the hate crime conviction to be reversed.

GLYNN COUNTY, Ga. — The video for this story is from a previous related story. 

A man found guilty of hate crimes in the murder of Ahmaud Arbery continues to fight his conviction in a new filing, claiming that he did not commit a hate crime. 

Arbery was killed in Satilla Shores, Georgia, on February 23, 2020. He was chased and later shot by Gregory McMichael, Travis McMichael (Gregory's son) and William Roddie Bryan in what was called by some as "a citizens arrest that turned deadly."

All three men were found guilty on nine counts felony counts, including felony murder and aggravated assault. 

In February at a separate trial, Gregory McMichael, Travis McMichael and Roddie were convicted of interfering with Arbery's right to use a public street because he was Black, First Coast News reported. 

All three are serving life sentences in prison. 

On March 8, 2022, Travis McMichael and his father filed a motion to overturn their conviction in the case. His lawyers are using the argument that the streets of Satilla Shores are not actually "public" streets. 

The government rejected the motion, but Travis McMichael has filed a new petition, claiming that the federal government "largely ignored McMichael's arguments." 

He said that the sole witness on the issue, an employee of the Glynn County's Public Works Department, is not credible, because he is "not an attorney," and "could not make a street public simply by declaring it to be a public street."

Travis McMichael's attorneys again argue the streets of Satilla Shores are private, because they were built by the subdivision developer and there is no record showing they were ever formally accepted by the Glynn Board of County Commissioners.

According to County Commission meeting records from the 1950s, a “Motion . . . to approve plat of Satilla Shores Subdivision. . . as recommended by the Glynn County Planning Board and approved by County Engineer as to elevation and drainage of the area involved, but expressly excluding the dedication at this time of any and all dedicated streets or ways…”

Citing these records, the filing continues, “This did not occur on Interstate 95, Highway 17, or even Gloucester Street in downtown Brunswick. Those are the types of roads underlying cases that have been prosecuted under [the hate crimes statute]. … The conduct here occurred instead in a small neighborhood, where the developer provided streets within the subdivision and offered to dedicate those streets to public use. The County expressly declined to accept that dedication.”

RELATED: Father and son convicted of killing Ahmaud Arbery file motions for acquittal

RELATED: Jury foreman: Ahmaud Arbery killers showed 'so much hatred'

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