A judge overseeing the sentencing of Ahmaud Arbury’s death dismissed a misdemeanor motion after defense attorney argued that the “woken up leftist mob” influenced the jury.
Gough’s client, William “Roddy” Brian, Greg McMichael and McMichael’s son Travis McMichael are accused of Arbury’s death. Prosecutors said the men allegedly chased Arbury and shot him while jogging on February 23, 2020.
The three men, who pleaded not guilty, said they tried to carry out a civil arrest of a man they suspected of burglary last year.
On Thursday, about 200 pastors gathered outside the Glynn County Courthouse in Coastal Brunswick, Georgia, after attorney Kevin Gough said it was inappropriate for Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and Martin Luther King III to sit with the Arbury family in the courtroom. in different parts of the city. trial.
On Thursday, Gough showed photographs of the large assembly in front of the court, arguing that it could constitute intimidation of the jury.
“This is an ordeal that has been infected with the violence of an awakened left-wing crowd,” Gough said. “This is what public lynching looks like in the 21st century,” he added. “The jury is under pressure.”
He continued: “No matter how many people are on the street, no matter how cruel they seem, it won’t take long … you have witnesses and a jury who are worried about their careers and their livelihood when this case is over and they are good aware of what’s going on. “
Prosecutor Linda Dunikoski alleged that Gough, whom she described as a “brilliant” and “calculating” lawyer, made the comment in the courtroom in an attempt to provoke a rally or possibly protesters wearing Black Lives Matter T-shirts.
“He’s very, very smart. He is very, very calculating and a good lawyer, ”she said. “Because on November 12, he stood up in the courtroom knowing full well that he was on television and commenting on Al Sharpton and then black pastors and Colonel Sanders, all knowing full well that it was televised.”
Dunikoski went on to say that people “are reacting to what he has done. They react to what he did strategically, deliberately, reasonably, so that there is an answer so that he can then complain about it. “
Supreme Court Justice Timothy Walmsley on Friday denied the defense motion in a brief statement.
Before the start of the trial, Walmsley ruled that Arbury’s criminal record, which included two arrests, could not be used as evidence. Arbury pleaded guilty to carrying a gun on a high school campus in 2013 and was arrested in 2017 on charges of trying to steal a TV from a Walmart store before pleading guilty.
Closing arguments in the case are expected to be announced on Monday, November 21.
Reuters contributed to this report.