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Judge in Arbery death hate crimes case hears racial evidence

Debate is over text messages
Travis McMichael, William "Roddie" Bryan, Gregory McMichael, Greg McMichael
Posted at 6:53 PM, Jan 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-21 18:55:21-05

BRUNSWICK, Ga. (AP) — A federal judge is weighing whether prosecutors should be allowed to use “racially insensitive” text messages as evidence in the hate crimes trial of three white men who chased and killed Ahmaud Arbery.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Benjamin Cheesbro heard arguments from attorneys behind closed doors for more than two hours Friday in Brunswick, Georgia, after evidence of racist attitudes or actions by the defendants was ordered sealed before their federal trial.

Father and son Greg and Travis McMichael and a neighbor, William “Roddie” Bryan, were convicted of state murder charges in November in the 2020 slaying of Arbery, a 25-year-old Black man. They face a separate trial in U.S. District Court.

Jury selection is scheduled to start Feb. 7.