Lawyers Ask That Arbery Not Be Referred To As A 'Victim' During Trial

Attorneys for Gregory and Travis McMichael have filed a motion asking that Ahmaud Arbery not be referred to as a "victim" in an upcoming trial. Attorneys representing the father-son tandem say that using the term would be prejudicial.

"Due process requires minimal injection of error or prejudice into these proceedings. Use of terms such as 'victim' allows the focus to shift to the accused rather than remain on the proof of every element of the crimes charged," the attorneys wrote in a recent filing.

The McMichael's attorneys have also filed a motion asking that only one photo of Arbery be used during the trial. Furthermore, attorneys have asked that Arbery be identified by a witness that is not related to him. Attorneys argue that these measures will help "avoid creating cumulative prejudicial error in the trial of this case."

Moving forward, attorneys for the McMichaels have asked that trial spectators be forbidden from wearing "Black Lives Matter" paraphernalia. This motion also seeks to prevent spectators from wearing clothing with the phrase, "I can't breathe."

"It is the right of those supporters to wear whatever clothing they choose, to hold up any sign they wish, and to chant whatever slogan they like outside the courtroom. That is the beauty of our First Amendment. But once inside the courthouse, the sanctity of the defendants' right to a fair and impartial trial trumps the First Amendment," the motion states.

Arbery was killed on February 23 while jogging in Brunswick, Georgia. While jogging, the McMichaels approached Arbery and killed him. The father and son duo have argued that they were under the belief that Arbery may have been connected to recent crimes in the area.

Both Gregory and Travis McMichael have been charged with malice and felony murder charges. They have also been met with counts of aggravated assault, false imprisonment, and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment. The two have pled not guilty and are being held without bail.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

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