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Man Accused Of Killing Ahmaud Arbery Allegedly Heard Yelling Racial Slur, All Three Men Will Stand Trial

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A Georgia Bureau of Investigation agent testified during preliminary hearings today. As a result, a judge decided all three men involved in the Ahmaud Arbery killing WILL stand trial. Deets on Ahmaud’s alleged killier yelling “f***** n*****” after he shot him multiple times inside…

Preliminary hearings for the three men involved in the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery, the 25-year-old black man running through their Brunswick, GA neighborhood were held today.

After seven hours of testimony and arguments from the lawyers of the men involved, Magistrate Judge Wallace E. Harrell decided the charges against all three men would NOT be dismissed and the case would proceed to trial.

Travis McMichael (pictured above on the left), 34, and his father Gregory McMichael, 64, were arrested and charged with felony murder and aggravated assault for allegedly killing Ahmaud back in Febraury. The neighbor who recorded the killing, William “Roddie” Bryan, 50, was charged with felony murder and illegally using a vehicle to try to confine and detain Ahmaud.

According to testimony from GBI Assistant Special Agent in Charge Richard Dial, Bryan (the neighbor) told police that Travis said “f*****g n*****” after he fired off three shots from his shotgun. Those shots took Ahmaud's life... in broad daylight. It was also revealed body camera footage captured a Confederate flag sticker on the toolbox of Travis’ truck.

Dial said he found several examples of Travis using the n-word on social media.

During cross-examination, Dial testified that Bryan mention Travis using the slur in a May 13th GBI interview, and to Dial's knowledge, Bryan had not previously made the allegation, including during a May 11th interview. It’s alleged Travis used the n-word once messaging someone that he loved his job because there "weren't any N-words anywhere.”

In another instance (before the shooting), Dial testified he came across an Instagram message by Travis that said things would be better if someone had "blown that N-word's head off," Dial testified. Dial did not mention who Travis was referring to and he was not asked for more context.

And get this, Dial shared Bryan also had several messages on his phone that included "racial" terms and indicated he may have prejudged Ahmaud when he saw him running through the neighborhood that day.

"There's evidence of Mr. Bryan's racist attitude in his communications, and from that I extrapolate the reason why he made assumptions he did that day," Dial said. "He saw a man running down the road with a truck following him, and I believe he made certain assumptions that were, at least in part, based upon his racial bias."

Dial testified that he believes Ahmaud was chased down, blocked in and had to make a decision whether to turn his back on a man holding a shotgun or fight for his life.

"I believe Mr. Arbery was being pursued, and he ran till he couldn't run anymore, and it was turn his back to a man with a shotgun or fight with his bare hands against the man with the shotgun. He chose to fight," he said. "I believe Mr. Arbery's decision was to just try to get away, and when he felt like he could not escape he chose to fight."

CNN gives more details on the timeline of the pursuit of Ahmaud:

The McMichaels had already tried to head off Arbery once when Bryan joined the pursuit, the GBI agent said. Bryan tried to block in Arbery as Travis McMichael drove around the block with his father in the bed of the truck, he said.

Bryan "made several statements about trying to block him in and using his vehicle to try to stop him," Dial said. "His statement was that Mr. Arbery kept jumping out of the way and moving around the bumper and actually running down into the ditch in an attempt to avoid his truck."

At one point, Arbery was heading out of the Satilla Shores neighborhood where the defendants live, but the McMichaels forced him to turn back into the neighborhood and run past Bryan, the agent said. That is when he struck Arbery, Dial said, and Arbery kept running with the McMichaels in pursuit.

Bryan turned around, and that is where the widely disseminated video of Arbery's killing begins, he said.

When police arrived after the shooting, Dial said, Gregory McMichael said in remarks caught on police body camera footage that he didn't know for certain if Arbery had stolen anything.

"He had a gut feeling that Mr. Arbery may have been responsible for thefts that were in the neighborhood previously. He actually says gut. His instinct told him that," the GBI agent said.

All three men were free after Ahmaud’s murder since Glynn County police and two prosecutors declined to press charges. Once video of Ahmaud’s killing was released, it went viral. People demanded the men in the video and the man recording be arrested and charged.

After the GBI took over the investigation, the men were arrested and charged.

Joyette M. Holmes – a black female from Cobb County in the Atlanta metropolitan area - is the fourth prosecutor assigned to the Ahmaud Arbery case. By the way, she’s the first African-American to serve as district attorney in the district.

The judge found probable cause to have the men brought up on murder charges. Federal officials were also weighing the possibility of federal hate crime charges, a spokesperson with the U.S. Department of Justice said last month.

Photo: AP/Ahmaud's Family

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