A text message obtained by CNN reportedly shows a Glynn County police officer texted the owner of a house under construction in Georgia, months before Ahmaud Arbery’s death, to let the man know he could contact Gregory McMichael for help with any trespassers.
Now, Gregory McMichael, 64, and his son, Travis McMichael, 34, have been arrested in connection with the shooting death of Arbery, who was on the homeowner's construction property the day of the his death as shown in released surveillance footage.
Larry English, the owner of the home, told CNN through his attorney, Elizabeth Graddy, that the text message happened on Dec. 20, 2019. English said he had sent surveillance footage to the police officer, and the officer told English about Gregory McMichael, identifying him as a retired police officer.
The officer, who was not identified, wrote that McMichael “said please call him day or night when you get action on your camera.”
Arbery, 25, was out jogging in the Satilla Shores area when he was shot to death Feb. 23. The McMichaels previously claimed they thought Arbery was a break-in suspect and grabbed their guns before they began following Arbery in their truck.
They claimed Arbery "violently" attacked Travis, leading to a struggle over the shotgun Travis had, during which time Travis fired in self-defense.
The Glynn County police are no longer giving statements about the case as the Georgia Bureau of Investigation has now taken it over.
The McMichaels are charged with aggravated assault and murder and were arrested on May 7.
"Probable cause was clear to our agents pretty quickly," said the director of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Vic Reynolds, at a press conference previously. "I'm very comfortable in telling you there's more than sufficient probable cause in charging felony murder."
Attorneys for the Gregory McMichael have said that he "did not commit murder," and highlighted the fact that he's been charged as party to the crime, according to a statement released Friday. They added that other "critical" facts will tell a very different narrative.
A statement from Travis McMichael's attorneys alleged he had "been vilified before his voice could even be heard." They expressed they believe Travis will be exonerated.
English previously said that nothing was stolen from his site on the day Ahmaud was killed.
“I don't want it to be put out and misused and misinterpreted for people to think that I had accused Mr. Arbery of stealing or robbery, because I never did," English told CNN.