3 Men Charged in Ahmaud Arbery’s Killing Plead Not Guilty

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Three Georgia men pleaded not guilty Friday after being charged in connection with the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery in February. William Bryan Jr., Gregory McMichael and Travis McMichael appeared in the Glynn County, Georgia, court via video conference Friday morning where they entered their plea.

The judge denied Bryan bond, sighting the reasons as his lack of employment, the ongoing investigation and the potential that he could be a flight risk. 

Arbery was jogging in Brunswick, Georgia in February when the McMichaels chased him, authorities said. The 25-year-old jogger was shot three times as he struggled with Travis’ gun.

Bryan recorded the cell phone video of Arbery's final moments. He is charged with criminal criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment and felony murder.

The three men were arrested in May after video circulated of the death.

The McMichaels and Bryan were indicted by a grand jury last month on malice and felony murder charges in Arbery's death. The charges also include aggravated assault, false imprisonment and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment, according to the indictment.

Police said Gregory McMichael told them Arbery attacked his son and that he thought Arbery looked like a person suspected in a series of recent break-ins in the area, according to a police report obtained by CNN. No break-ins were reported in the seven weeks before Arbery's death, while cops say there was only a burglary report after a gun was stolen from an unlocked vehicle in front of the McMichaels' home, according to CNN.

Investigators said they believed Bryan tried to help the father and son by using his vehicle to "confine and detain" Arbery multiple times in the minutes leading to the fatal shooting, an arrest warrant obtained by CNN said.

On Friday, Arbery's mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, asked the judge to deny bond for Bryan.

"I am asking this court to say no. He can not go home. He denied my son to go home," Cooper-Jones said in her victim impact statement. “My son ran away. He ran, he ran. My son actually ran around him and my son actually ran for his life. But William Bryan did not allow my son to return home.”

Arbery's death, along with those of Breonna Taylor's and George Floyd, sparked protests against alleged police brutality that caught on worldwide. 

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