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Prosecution and defense rest in hate crimes trial for Ahmaud Arbery's killers

The defense is not expected to call many witnesses and the jury could begin deliberations early next week.

BRUNSWICK, Ga. — The prosecution and defense both rested Friday in the federal hate crimes trial of the three men convicted last November of murdering Ahmaud Arbery.

11Alive's Joe Ripley reports the jury will be called back on Monday at 9:30 a.m. for closing arguments and then deliberations.

The trial began with testimony on Tuesday and through the course of this week the prosecution has sought to establish a racial animus in the chase and murder of Arbery on Feb. 23, 2020 by Travis McMichael, his father Greg McMichael and their neighbor William "Roddie" Bryan.

RELATED: Racist texts, posts presented in hate crimes trial for Ahmaud Arbery's killers

Testimony has included the recollections of neighbors and investigators, forensic and autopsy evidence and, in perhaps the most difficult day of the trial, the viciously racist and at-times violent texts and social media posts of Travis McMichael, along with racist communications by Greg McMichael and Bryan.

Visibly upset members of the Arbery family have left the courtroom several times during proceedings, with his father Marcus Arbery saying on Wednesday, "I knew all that hate was in those men."

Ahmaud Arbery's mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, said she was pleased with how the prosecution has handled the trial.

"The DOJ has done a very good job presenting its case," she said. "I think we’ll have a good verdict like we did in the state case, guilty on all counts.”

Jurors, too, at varying times have asked if counseling would be available due to the graphic and unsettling nature of the evidence and testimony in the case. They have been told by the judge that it will be.

The three men were convicted of murdering Arbery last year in a state trial and each received life in prison as a result of Georgia minimum sentencing guidelines. A jury will now determine in this federal trial if they also violated Arbery's civil rights and killed him because of the color of his skin.


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