BRUNSWICK, Ga. — A lawyer for one of the three men charged in the killing of Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia asked prosecutors for a plea deal, according to an attorney representing the victim’s family.
That family attorney, Lee Merritt, told CNN and CBS News that the lawyer for William “Roddie” Bryan Jr. asked for a plea deal before the defense rested its case in the trial Thursday, and that prosecutors turned down the request.
Merritt added that he believes the proposition indicates Bryan is worried about the strength of the state’s case against him and the other defendants, CBS News reports.
Bryan, Greg McMichael and his son, Travis McMichael, are charged with murder and other crimes in connection with the slaying of Arbery on Feb. 23, 2020. All three defendants are white.
Greg McMichael has said he and his son suspected the 25-year-old Black man was a burglar when they saw him running in their neighborhood that day. Armed with guns, they chased him down in a pickup truck. Bryan joined them and recorded the moment Travis McMichael fatally shot Arbery.
Defense attorneys have argued that Travis McMichael fired the shotgun at Arbery in self-defense.
A medical examiner who testified in the trial said the two gunshots that hit Arbery punched a gaping hold in his chest and unleashed massive bleeding. The doctor added that both shots caused severe bleeding and either blast could have killed the man.
Defense attorneys for Bryan and the McMichaels rested their cases Thursday after calling a total of seven witnesses, including Travis McMichael and six neighbors who testified about their concerns about neighborhood crime.
Superior Court Judge Timothy Walmsley has scheduled closing arguments in the trial for Monday, meaning verdicts could come down before Thanksgiving next Thursday.