'Under attack': prosecutors detail Arbery's last minutes

"Mr. Aubrey is under attack by all three of these men. He's under attack. "

A Georgia prosecutor told a jury on Friday that the three white men on trial for the killing of Ahmaud Arbery assumed the worst about the unarmed African-American when they chased him down and shot him dead in February 2020.

"And then they killed him."

Cobb Country senior assistant district attorney Linda Donikoski accused Gregory McMichael, his son Travis McMichael, and their neighbor William "Roddie" Bryan with murder, aggravated assault and false imprisonment.

All three men pleaded not guilty.

Arbery's killing has sparked protests and enraged activists furious about the killings of unarmed African Americans in the United States.

"Travis McMichael has probable cause, based on his training of what probable cause is, to believe Ahmaud Arbery is a burglar."

In opening statements on Friday, the defense attorney said his clients suspected the twenty-five-year-old Arbery - who was out for a Sunday jog - was a burglar, and later told police they were trying to make a citizen's arrest.

Seeing Arbery jog past, the older McMichael ran inside his house to get his pistol and alerted his son, who grabbed his 12-gauge shotgun. The two got in a pickup truck and began chasing Arbery, trying to ask him what he was running from.

"Five minutes later, Ahmaud Arbery is dead."

The prosecutor said neighbor William "Roddie" Bryan also gave chase and tried to hit Arbery repeatedly with his pickup truck.

"How do you know that this was an attack on Mr. Arbery? Because Greg McMichael said it perfectly: Mr. Arbery was trapped like a rat. That's what he told the police."

She played cellphone video showing Travis McMichael firing the fatal shotgun blast that killed Arbery.

The victim's mother sobbed in the courtroom, before regaining her composure.

The defense pointed to the fact that Arbery had been seen repeatedly in the neighborhood, sometimes at night, and sometimes even entering a vacant property under construction. Travis McMichael had previously called 9-1-1 after encountering Arbery.

The defendants' lawyers say the younger McMichael opened fire in self-defense.

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