BRUNSWICK, Ga. — Three men charged in connection with the death of Ahmaud Arbery are scheduled to appear in a Glynn County court Thursday morning.
A couple of months after the 25-year-old was shot and killed while running down a Brunswick street, Gregory McMichael, his son Travis and William Bryan were all arrested.
New evidence about this case is expected to be heard in court. All three men will be appearing through video conference from the jail.
The hearing, requested by the defense, is an opportunity for them to challenge the arresting officer who brought the charges and ask the judge if there is enough evidence to charge the men with the offense.
In this case, the arresting officer is the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. At this point, the district attorney and the defense have not seen GBI’s full case file.
GBI is still investigating Arbery's death, but District Attorney Joyette Holmes said she has seen enough of the preliminary evidence to compel her to file the charges.
Georgia’s attorney general appointed Holmes as a special prosecutor after two previous DA's declined to prosecute the case.
The attorney general asked GBI to also open an investigation into possible prosecutorial misconduct related to how the south Georgia prosecutors handled the case early on.
It’s expected that the defense attorneys will ask the judge Thursday to release the McMichaels and Bryan on bond.
Arbery’s family is expected to be in court and may be given an opportunity to speak before the judge.
As protests continue around Georgia and the country after Arbery's death and that of George Floyd in Minneapolis last week. Almost a week into daily protests in Atlanta, more are expected in Brunswick as the court appearance draws more eyes to Georgia.
Protesters have been calling for justice and accountability for law enforcement's use of force in the deaths of both men as well as countless other black community members across the country.
The pandemic has impacted the Arbery case in multiple ways. The biggest of which is the lack of a grand jury indictment for the McMichaels and and Bryan.
The Georgia Supreme Court suspended all juries in March and isn't set to expire until June 12. Even after juries can reconvene, it could take months for one to be called for this case.
The McMichaels are charged with murder and aggravated assault. Bryan is charged with felony murder and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment.