What’s next in the Ahmaud Arbery case

Ahmaud Arbery’s mother files civil rights lawsuit alleging conspiracy to cover his death
Caption
Ahmaud Arbery’s mother files civil rights lawsuit alleging conspiracy to cover his death

The new federal hate crimes indictment handed up Wednesday in the Ahmaud Arbery murder case sets two cases against the three men charged with Arbery’s murder on parallel tracks.

The state murder case against Travis McMichael, his father Greg McMichael and Roddie Bryan has been pending for nine months. A trial date has yet to be set. Superior Court Judge Timothy Walsmley is scheduled to preside over two days of pretrial motions hearings on May 12 and 13. The hearings will be held at the Glynn County courthouse in Brunswick.

The eighth season of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Breakdown podcast focuses on the Arbery case. Listen and download on iTunes, Stitcher or Spotify.

3 men charged with federal hate crimes, attempted kidnapping in Ahmaud Arbery death
Caption
3 men charged with federal hate crimes, attempted kidnapping in Ahmaud Arbery death

This will be the first hearing in the state’s case without Jesse Evans. Until he recently resigned from the Cobb County District Attorney’s Office, Evans had been the lead prosecutor in the Arbery case. Veteran prosecutor Linda Dunikoski will now head the team from the Cobb DA’s office, which was assigned the case after other DAs recused themselves.

As for the federal case, the McMichaels and Bryan will have a court date before a U.S. Magistrate Benjamin Cheesbro in Brunswick for a first appearance, arraignment and bond hearing. That has been scheduled for May 11.

Also undecided is which case — the state murder case or federal hate crimes case — goes to trial first. The general, although not mandatory, rule is that the case that was indicted first — in this instance, the state’s case — would be the one that’s tried first.

Arbery, who was Black, was shot and killed Feb. 23, 2020, outside of Brunswick. The three defendants — Travis McMichael, 25, who fired the fatal shotgun blasts; Greg McMichael, 65; and Roddie Bryan, 51 — are white.