Three white men charged in killing of Black jogger in Georgia plead not guilty
By Rich McKay (Reuters) - The three white men charged with the murder of a Black jogger in the U.S.
By Rich McKay
(Reuters) - The three white men charged with the murder of a Black jogger in the U.S. state of Georgia pleaded not guilty on Friday in a case that led to a national outcry after a cellphone video of the shooting surfaced on the Internet.
Lawyers for one of the defendants, William "Roddie" Bryan, asked Chatham County Superior Court Judge Timothy Walmsley to release him on bond, even as the victim's mother implored the court to keep him locked up.
Walmsley said he expected to make a decision on bail for Bryan on Friday afternoon.
Bryan, 50, shot the video that appeared to show the killing of Ahmaud Arbery, 25, on Feb. 23 just outside the coastal town of Brunswick. He was charged with murder and attempt to illegally detain and confine.
A former police officer, Gregory McMichael, 64, and his son Travis, 34, are charged with murder and aggravated assault.
Police say Gregory McMichael saw Arbery jogging through his neighborhood outside of Brunswick and believed he looked like a burglary suspect. The elder McMichael called his son and the two armed themselves and drove after Arbery.
Bryan joined the chase in his own pickup truck, police say, and took video of the incident on his phone, which appears to show the McMichaels confronting Arbery before the jogger was shot with a shotgun.
No trial date was immediately set, but several motions on behalf of Bryan, including a request for bond, remained before the court on Friday.
"The law is very clear" Bryan's attorney, Kevin Gough, said at the hearing. "There is no evidence that he presents a risk of fleeing, or threatening or endangering anyone."
Arbery's mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, implored the court not to grant bond.
"I say no," she said. "My son cannot go home and he ran for his life. William Bryan prevented my son from going home."
(Reporting by Rich McKay in Atlanta; editing by Jonathan Oatis)
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