A Georgia state investigator testified Thursday that one of the men arrested in the killing of Ahmaud Arbery allegedly stood over Arbery’s dead body and blurted out a racial epithet, according to NBC News.
The allegation was revealed at a preliminary hearing on Thursday morning as the prosecution presented its case against defendants Gregory McMichael, 64, his son, Travis McMichael, 34, and their neighbor, William “Roddie” Bryan, 50.
Bryan, who recorded the killing on his mobile phone, told investigators he overheard Travis McMichael using a racial epithet after fatally shooting Arbery, a black man, in Glynn County, GA, in February, according to the court testimony. Richard Dial, a special agent with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, said that Bryan told law enforcement officials on May 13 that Travis uttered “f****** n*****” after he had shot Arbery three times with his Remington 870 shotgun and before police officers appeared on the scene.
Retired district attorney investigator Greg McMichael and his adult son, Travis, shot and killed Arbery, 25, as he jogged past the McMichael home in Brunswick, GA. Bryan, who filmed the killing, was also arrested and charged with felony murder and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment.
Dial added that Travis McMichael had used the n-word previously on social media back in January, allegedly when responding to an unspecified Instagram post that it would have been better if someone had “blown the f—ing n-word’s head off.”
The special agent also mentioned another instance when Travis McMichael, then in the Coast Guard, allegedly used the slur. “One particular one that comes to mind was he made the statement that he loved his job because he’s out on a boat and there aren’t any n-words anywhere,” Dial testified Thursday.
According to some of the evidence presented in court, Arbery was shot in the center of his chest, upper left chest around the armpit, and his right wrist. The first shot hit Arbery in the chest.
Dial suggested that there was evidence Arbery was struck by Bryan’s pickup after he allegedly drove to the confrontation and blocked the victim as he ran.
A prosecutor said in court Thursday that Arbery “was chased, hunted down, and ultimately executed at the hands of these men. He was defenseless and he was unarmed.”