In the recent court filing, prosecutors said they want to introduce into evidence against Travis McMichael a “racial highway video Facebook post,” “a Racial Johnny Rebel Facebook post” and a racial text message, all posted or sent in 2019. They seek to admit into evidence an “Identity Dixie Facebook post” and “Racial Johnny Rebel Facebook post” against Greg McMichael.
They also want to introduce unspecified racist messages extracted from Bryan’s cellphone. At a bond hearing in July, lead prosecutor Jesse Evans said Bryan repeatedly used the n-word in texts that contain “a ton of filth.”
GBI agent Richard Dial also previously testified that Bryan told investigators he heard Travis McMichael say the expletive-laden epithet, “f---ing n-word,” as he stood over the dying Arbery.
Ahmaud Arbery and mugshot of William “Roddie” Bryan.
In an interview last month, McMichael’s lawyers, Bob Rubin and Jason Sheffield, said they believe Bryan could not have heard their client make any statement and denied he said such a thing. They also said the McMichaels did not chase down Arbery because he was a Black man.
In a separate court filing, prosecutors also asked Superior Court Judge Timothy Walmsley to prohibit the defense from introducing bad character evidence about Arbery at trial. This includes his past convictions, prior encounters with law enforcement and his mental health history, they said.
Savannah Judge Timothy R. Walmsley was appointed to oversee the cases for those accused in the Ahmaud Arbery killing. (Photo: Chatham County)
Such evidence, the motion said, is “irrelevant and inadmissible as to the issues in this case, including the issues of self-defense.”
No trial date has been set because of the coronavirus pandemic, and all three defendants remain in jail.
In July, Walmsley denied bond to Bryan. Two months ago, the McMichaels filed motions seeking bond, but Walmsley has yet to schedule hearings.
“The Ahmaud Arbery case” is the subject of the eighth season of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s award-winning Breakdown podcast. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher, Spotify or anywhere you listen to podcasts.