A federal judge has scheduled the trial for the three men charged with hate crimes in the killing of Ahmaud Arbery.
U.S. District Judge Lisa Godbey Wood has set the jury selection to begin Feb. 7 at the federal courthouse in Brunswick.
Travis McMichael and his father, Gregory, and William “Roddie” Bryan, were all charged with one count of interference with civil rights and attempted kidnapping. The McMichaels are also charged with using, carrying and brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence.
“As Arbery was running on a public street in the Satilla Shores neighborhood of Brunswick, Georgia, Travis and Gregory McMichael armed themselves with firearms, got into a truck, and chased Arbery through the public streets of the neighborhood while yelling at him, using their truck to cut off his route, and threatening him with firearms,” read a statement issued by the Justice Department.
Bryan, their neighbor, joined the chase and was later charged along with the McMichaels.
Arbery was killed on Feb. 23, 2020. No charges were filed for two months until cellphone footage of the killing was leaked online — leading to a nationwide backlash.
They were indicted by a grand jury in April.
The defense argues that no crime was committed as the McMichaels thought Arbery was a burglar. The father and son say he was recorded entering a nearby home under construction and that they shot him in self-defense after a struggle.
Investigators allege Travis McMichael called Arbery a “f—ing n—-r” after killing him.
The hate crime trial is separate from their murder trial, which is scheduled to start on Oct. 18.