Emotions high for family as trial opens in killing of Ahmaud Arbery

Local News

BRUNSWICK, Ga. (WSAV) – After over two weeks of jury selection, Friday was the official start to the murder trial for the three men accused of killing Ahmaud Arbery.

Court was dismissed around 5:30 p.m. after the prosecution and defense presented their opening statements. The first witness was also brought to the stand.

Some evidence was shown as well, including photos and video of Arbery’s killing.

His family is anxious about the trial but hopeful they’ll find the justice they’re seeking, according to Arbery’s aunt, Thea Brooks.

“I think they’re gonna feel like, ‘What if this was my family member or my loved one?’ And they’re gonna make the right decision,” she said of the jury.

Emotions were high as Arbery’s parents watched the full video of his killing for the first time. Wanda Cooper-Jones, his mother, let out an emotional sob as it played.

“I’ve avoided the video for the last 18 months. I thought it was time to get familiar with what happened to Ahmaud,” she said.

Wanda Cooper-Jones sees full video of her son’s killing for the first time. (NBC)

“This wasn’t new evidence, but to see it strung together as the way the prosecutor was able to do today was difficult to take in, but it reassured us,” said Lee Merritt, an attorney for the Arbery family.

Supporters of the Arbery family were outside of the Glynn County Courthouse in the rain during the hours-long opening statements. Like the family, they hope the process goes smoothly and fairly.

“We are hopeful that as this evidence continues to come out, that the right decision will be made,” said Barbara Arwine with the Transformative Justice Coalition.

The wife of Greg McMichael, one of the three men accused, was also in court Friday.

The trial is expected to last for two weeks or longer. Court is set to resume Monday at 9 a.m. in Brunswick.

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