Officer testifies that man accused of killing Ahmaud Arbery never mentioned attempting citizen’s arrest

Local News

BRUNSWICK, Ga. (WSAV) – Law enforcement officers with the Glynn County Police Department testified that Gregory McMichael, one of the three men accused in the killing of Ahmaud Arbery, never said the group was attempting to make a citizen’s arrest.

On Tuesday, the third day of the trial, two officials with Glynn County Police recounted conversations they had with the accused men through interview transcriptions.

Patrol Officer Jeff Brandeberry interviewed Gregory McMichael on the scene of Arbery’s killing in the Satilla Shores neighborhood. According to testimony, Gregory said this to the officer:

“‘I saw him, yeah. In fact, if, to be perfectly honest with you, if I could’ve got a shot at the guy, I’da shot him myself,” Brandeberry read to the courtroom.

Brandeberry testified that when he arrived on scene, Gregory had blood on his left hand. In the interview, McMichael claimed that Arbery had broken into a nearby house on “numerous occasions” and “nobody could ever catch him.”

McMichael did not tell the officer which houses Arbery allegedly broke into or how many, according to testimony. Brandeberry said during their conversation, McMichael was “animated” as they spoke.

“He was pretty amped up,” Brandeberry said. “He was, he appeared a little upset. He was talking a lot with gestures and using his hands.”

Defense attorneys are arguing the accused men were trying to make a citizen’s arrest. When asked by lead prosecutor Linda Dunikoski, Brandeberry testified that Gregory McMichael never told him that. 

Linda Dunikoski: “Did Greg McMichael ever indicate to you at that time that he thought Ahmaud Arbery, the guy, had committed a crime that day?”

Brandeberry: “No ma’am.”

Dunikoski: “Did he ever tell you, while you’re talking to him, that he was attempting to make a citizen’s arrest?”

Brandeberry: “No ma’am.”

Dunikoski: “Did he ever even use the word arrest?”

Brandeberry: “No ma’am.”

Detective Parker Marcy was at Glynn County Police headquarters the day of Arbery’s death. Marcy said he specializes in cell phone forensics and downloaded the video of Arbery’s killing from William “Roddie” Bryan’s phone. 

Marcy said Travis McMichael arrived at headquarters wearing the clothes he had on that day, which Marcy said were covered in blood. Photos were taken of him before allowing him to change clothes.

Marcy also interviewed Gregory McMichael, during which he told Marcy he suspected Arbery had “done something to somebody.” When asked by the prosecution, Marcy said Gregory McMichael did not specifically say he saw Arbery commit a crime that day.

Marcy read this excerpt from the interview transcription:

“‘The thing that was doubtful, not doubtful, but was certainly a driving factor, in my mind, was that my son had a missing pistol, and I’m pretty certain this guy, well, I don’t know for a fact, and I have no reason to think that he did it, other than the fact that this guy has been going over, this guy’s been doing this crap over and over and over.’”

According to testimony, Marcy said Gregory McMichael told him his intent was to “hold” Arbery and “contact county police.” He did not use the words arrest, citizen’s arrest or detain, Marcy said.

In the interview, Gregory McMichael told Marcy when he saw Arbery, he ran inside his house and grabbed his gun, according to testimony.

“Then [Gregory McMichael] says, ‘I said stop, you know, I’ll blow your f–ing head off,’ or something. I was trying to convey to this guy that we weren’t playing,’” Marcy read from the transcription. 

Defense attorneys said Gregory McMichael told Marcy if Arbery had turned around and said where he was coming from, it would “be a whole different ball game.”

The attorney for Bryan, the man who recorded Arbery’s killing, motioned for a mistrial for the second time since the trial started. He took issue with evidence being presented regarding Bryan’s relationship with Gregory McMichael. 

The judge denied his request.

Court is set to resume again at 9 a.m. Wednesday.

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