The McMichaels and Bryan were charged with murder nearly three months after the February shooting. The GBI took over the investigation after video of Arbery’s final moments alive, captured on Bryan’s cellphone, was released by a local radio station.
“(Travis) had had no choice, man” Greg McMichael, a retired investigator with the Brunswick Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office, tells police. The new footage shows the elder McMichael was known by many of the officers.
Bryan shared a similar account, though at one point, under questioning from an officer, says, ”Should we have been chasing him? I don’t know.”
Greg McMichael, on the other hand, is heard on video telling officers, “To be a honest with you if I could’ve shot the guy I would’ve shot him myself.”
He said Arbery made “frequent trips to the neighborhood ... breaking into places.”
At a bond hearing for the McMichaels last month, Judge Timothy Walmsley said they had no way of knowing if Arbery was responsible for the break-ins.
“And that somehow resulted in individuals thinking it was appropriate to block that individual’s path of travel, shoulder a firearm in order to get him to stop,” said Walmsley, who denied their petition for bond. Bryan was denied bond at an earlier hearing.
“There is a significant danger to all of those actions,” Walmsley said. “Individuals who do that need to be aware of the fact they can end up exactly where (the McMichaels) are now.”
Video shows that soon after the shooting, Greg McMichael asked if his son had been handcuffed.
“Why would he need cuffs?” an officer is heard responding.
Greg McMichael told police they tried, unsuccessfully, to get Arbery to stop.
“He starts running past us. Travis backs up,” the elder McMichael said. “The guy is looking dead at us. Travis gets out, with the shotgun.”
Arbery was then trapped between the McMichaels’ truck and Bryan’s vehicle.
Bryan’s video shows Arbery attempting to run past the McMichaels.
“The guy turns and comes at him,” Greg McMichael tells police, “and they start wrestling and Travis shoots him right in the damn chest. The guy was trying to take the shotgun away from him.”
Walmsley said the evidence shows Greg McMichael “was going to place the law in his own hands, that he felt he had the ability to influence an ongoing investigation.”
The McMichaels and Bryan remain in Glynn County Jail awaiting trial.