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New trial motion in Ahmaud Arbery murder claims prosecutors did not prove defendant's guilt

In a separate motion, prosecutors are seeking to prevent the three men from profiting from the murder of Ahmaud Arbery through book or movie deals.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Saying the state failed to prove his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, the man who fired the fatal shot in the murder of Ahmaud Arbery is seeking a new trial.

The motion filed this week by attorneys for Travis McMichael offers four broad reasons a new trial is warranted. Georgia law requires such motions be filed within 30 days of a verdict, but they can be amended and revised at any time.

Travis McMichael, his father Greg and their neighbor William Roddie Bryan, who are white, were convicted in November of killing the 25-year-old Arbery, who is black, as he ran through their suburban Georgia neighborhood.

All three were sentenced to life in prison earlier this month.

State prosecutors filed their own motion this week, seeking to prevent the men from profiting from their crime. Prosecutors told the judge at sentencing they want to ensure that any money generated from future book or movie deals goes directly to Ahmaud Arbery’s family. The motion formalizes that request.

At sentencing, Bryan's attorney Kevin Gough indicated he would oppose any such motion, saying it would interfere with his client's ability to raise money for his legal defense.

No response has been filed to either motion, and no hearing date is set. 

The three men face federal hate crimes charges in a separate trial set to begin in February. 

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