A judge began questioning potential jurors on Monday afternoon in the trial of father and son Greg and Travis McMichael and their neighbour, William “Roddie” Bryan, who have been charged with murdering Ahmaud Arbery while he was jogging through his neighbourhood in Georgia in February 2020.
The jury selection process has been slow, and according to a report by CTV News, Superior Court Judge Timothy Walmsley had not yet selected anyone from the pool of candidates. At least 14 pool members have been dismissed because of their connection to the defendants or others close to the case. Court officials have said that jury selection could take more than two weeks, but at the rate things are going, it could be even longer.
25-year-old Arbery was shot to death on February 23 while out for a run near his home in Brunswick, Ga., but it wasn’t until cell phone video of his murder emerged two months later that the case gained international attention. The video sparked a public outcry, but the three men involved in his murder were not charged until more than a year later.
In April of this year, the McMichaels and Bryan were charged with one count of interference with rights and with one count of attempted kidnapping. The McMichaels were also charged with one count each of using, carrying and brandishing a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence, and Travis McMichael was charged with discharging the firearm. These charges were the most significant to be handed down by the U.S. federal government with regards to civil rights protections in the country.
According to CTV, jury duty notices were mailed to 1,000 people in the county, indicating the scale and importance of the upcoming trial. The judge has expressed his frustration over the slow pace of jury selection, and there is currently no word regarding how long the process will take and when the trial will begin.