The father and son accused of killing Ahmaud Arbery appeared in a Georgia court Thursday to request bond.
Travis McMichael, 34, and Gregory McMichael, 64, are charged with malice and felony murder in Arbery’s February 23 shooting death. WXIA has provided a livestream of Thursday’s bond hearing, which includes testimony from the McMichaels’ friends and a landlord.
Travis McMichael’s childhood friend, Zachary Langford, characterized him as an affable jokester who had at least one Black friend, according to the Associated Press.
Prosecutor Jesse Evans then questioned Langford about a text Travis McMichael sent to him in which Travis McMichael described a Black man as a “crackhead … with gold teeth.” Langford claimed Travis McMichael was describing a raccoon, according to the Associated Press.
Evans also asked Langford about a photo he posted to Facebook last year — in which Travis McMichael allegedly replied “Sayonara” along with a slur for Asians and an expletive. Langford said he did not recall the correspondence, the news outlet reported.
On February 23, William Bryan Jr., 50, reportedly filmed the McMichaels fatally shooting Arbery, 25, as he jogged in Brunswick. Bryan, who was also charged with murder, claimed he was solely a witness but authorities alleged he used his vehicle to confine and detain Arbery in the minutes leading up to his murder.
Gregory McMichael allegedly said that Arbery resembled a suspect in a series of recent burglaries in the Satilla Shores neighborhood. However, police said the only recent break-in was on January 1, when a 9mm pistol was reportedly stolen from an unlocked truck outside the McMichaels’ home.
In July, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation confirmed Bryan was being investigated for child molestation that reportedly occurred in Camden County. Officials have not provided specifics regarding those allegations.
Gregory and Travis McMichael were arrested in May, two days after a video depicting Arbery’s death went viral. Bryan and the McMichaels were initially denied bond in July.
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[Featured image: Ahmaud Arbery/handout, Gregory and Travis McMichael/Glynn County Sheriff’s Office]