After eight days and 23 witnesses, the prosecution rested its case in the trial of three men accused of killing Ahmaud Arbery. The final day of the prosecution's case centered around the testimony of forensic pathologist Dr. Edmund Donoghue. Having performed Arbery's autopsy last year, Donoghue was able to discuss exactly how Travis McMichael's gunshots took Arbery's life. According to CNN, Donoghue testified that the second shot that was fired missed Arbery. However, the first shot grazed his wrist before hitting his artery and center chest. Seconds later, the third shot hit his left armpit and chest. As reported by CNN, Donoghue told the court that a tourniquet could have repaired the wrist injury, but nothing could have remedied the damage done his torso.
“The phrase you used when you talked to us in March was, ‘He was essentially dead before he hit the ground,’ correct?” defense attorney Robert Rubin asked.
“Yes,” Donoghue answered.
Attorneys representing Travis McMichael, George McMichael and William Bryan have argued that Arbery was killed during a lawful citizens arrest attempt. George McMichael claims that he was under the belief that Arbery was connected to a string of robberies in the area and he called on his son and Bryant to help track him down. In their pursuit, the three men used two vehicles to block both sides of the road that Arbery was jogging on. After catching up to Arbery, Travis McMichael called the police before firing multiple shots at the unarmed jogger.
To present their case, defense attorneys are expected to call 30 witnesses to the stand. However, the defendants are not expected to testify. The defense's case will likely extend in to the week of Thanksgiving. The court has not yet determined what next week's schedule will look like.
Reading about Black trauma can have an impact on your mental health. If you or someone you know need immediate mental health help, text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 to be connected to a certified crisis counselor. These additional resources are also available:
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255
The National Alliance on Mental Illness 1-800-950-6264
The Association of Black Psychologists 1-301-449-3082
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America 1-240-485-1001
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