The three men arrested for charges connected to the murder of Ahmaud Arbery appeared in court for the first time on Thursday.
Gregory McMichael, his son Travis McMichael, and William Bryan were in court for preliminary hearings that will determine whether the case will proceed to a murder trial against all three of them. The trial arrives almost a month after the McMichaels were arrested for murder, and just under two weeks after the arrest of their neighbor Bryan, who recorded Arbery's murder on his phone.
A Georgia Bureau of Investigation detective working on the case, which he said is still ongoing, revealed to the court that Bryan said he heard Travis yell "fucking n****r" after he shot Arbery. He added that there's zero evidence to indicate that Arbery took anything from the under-construction home he visited shortly before he was fatally shot. In reviewing social media and cellphone records from the individuals, Travis reportedly wrote threatening messages in regards to reports of burglaries in the area.
In fact, the detective suggested there were multiple instances of Travis using racist language on his phone and social media. One alleged comment reads "blow that n-word's head off," as the detective said. He alleged that Travis also expressed online that "he loved his job 'cause he was on a boat and there weren't any n-words anywhere."
Ahmaud Arbery was shot and killed near Brunswick in Georgia while jogging on Feb. 23. In the graphic video of the shooting, the McMichaels pursued him in a vehicle and confronted him. Video evidence appears to show Travis is the gunman who fatally shot Arbery. The two McMichaels have alleged that they believed Arbery matched the description of a burglarly suspect.