Linda Dunikoski is back doing what she’s good at, giving the final trial comments to the McMichael/Bryan jury. First she explains that premeditation isn’t required to convict. How they first left without violent intent. But it escalated and Ahmaud died.
Tells the jury that malice may develop in an “instant”. A “abandoned malignant heart can develop in (she snaps her fingers) that amount of time”
Yells the jury how if they take away any one of the underlying felonies and Ahmaud is still alive.
They all directly resulted in his death. They’re all the cause of his death.
Explains that injuries aren’t required when assaulting someone with a pickup truck. They only need to have given the victim substantial reasonable fear.
She’s expertly tying assault with a deadly weapon (the trucks) and false imprisonment (trapping Ahmaud with their trucks) directly into his death. If the jury agrees that felonies leading up to the shooting occurred, then self defense cannot be used as a defense.
“For five whole minutes Ahmaud is running away from them. Was Ahmaud in reasonable fear for his life? YES.”
Tying the words of Bryan into his attempt to criminally confine Ahmaud, making him a direct part in the death of Ahmaud and not just someone filming the shooting from behind.
Starts to break down the self defense law.
Begins that the initial aggressor cannot claim self defense. Uses the armed robbery comparison again. You cannot rob a store and then say the clerk attacked you so you defended yourself and shot him.
Lists all the other felony charges that set up the three men as unjustified aggressors. Therefore they cannot claim self defense.
Moves to the law saying all other avenues need to be exhausted.
If the force is excessive you can’t claim self defense.
The law says self defense can only be used when someone is in imminent fear of death. Explains that Ahmaud never once threatened them, never had a weapon of any type. Explains it’s impossible that Ahmaud punched Travis because his arms are shorter than the shotgun between them.
One difference between Linda and the defense lawyers is the way she talks to the jury. The defense talked down to them, slowly and almost in a childlike manner. Linda just shoots it out fast to them, getting to the point and makes it simple to understand.
Like a teacher.
“How do we know Travis intended to kill him? He pointed a shotgun at him.”
Moves to the citizens arrest law.
“ A private citizen my arrest an offender if a crime is committed in his presence”
Explains the arresting citizen needs to have SEEN the crime, or have immediate knowledge, and immediate knowledge doesn’t mean watched a video a week ago.
Also explains that for citizens arrest to apply the crime witnessed needs to be a felony. Defense objects. Defense has tried to make the argument that it’s possible to see Ahmaud walking into the open construction zone and infer he “intended to steal, turning it into a felony”
Another objection. Judge notes the objection. Jury is brought out of the court.
Defense is asking for a mistrial.
The whole argument is over a “or” and an “and” in the law.
Defense is leaning hard on this because the prosecutions argument against the defendants means there is NO WAY they could’ve been making a citizens arrest. There are two interpretations of the citizens arrest law. One the men may walk. The other convicts them.
Judge appears to be siding with the state. That they are allowed to argue their interpretation of the law. Denies the mistrial.
One difference between this judge and the Rittenhouse judge, this judge rules on mistrial requests immediately. The Rittenhouse judge held onto them and kept the opportunity to rule after hearing the jury verdict.
Five minute break. Defense lawyers gotta peepee.
You have to wonder if the defense lawyers are attempting to drag this out in the hopes it helps their chances. They have succeeded so far in interrupting the final prosecution statements.
Court is back.
Freshly peed defense panel.
Mistrial denied.
Jury comes back in.
Linda explains that the judge will give them the law on citizens arrest.
Returns to immediate knowledge is needed for a person to make a citizens arrest. You can’t base your arrest on gossip alone. Rumors aren’t probably cause.
Explains that a warrant less arrest by a private citizen can only be made as the crime is being committed, or as the person who committed the crime is fleeing when the crime was a felony.
Defense again objects. Judge denies, and a second defense lawyer objects. He again overrules
The defense is trying really hard to not let the jury hear the citizen arrest law as Linda interprets it.
Linda goes into the many times Ahmaud walked through the construction site and never once took anything. Never once came in with a bag. How could he have entered the site with criminal intent when he never acted criminally?
Tells the jury the defendants where directly told that the suspects of the thefts were the contractors. Not Ahmaud.
She has spent a lot of time listing all the other numerous people seen entering the open construction site over the months leading up to Ahmad’s killing. Shows a video of Arbery aimlessly walking through the construction site. Didn’t take anything. Damage anything. Runs off.
At the most Ahmaud commited criminal trespass. No one had ever told him to not be on the property.
Why are the defense trying to paint him as a burglar? Because that’s a felony. Goes into the legal differences between trespasser and burglar.
Shows a video of the defendant saying all Ahmaud has done is criminal trespass. Specifically says “criminal trespass” the defendant knew the difference between the two laws. And knew Ahmaud never committed a felony.
To me that’s the smoking gun. That’s all of it right there.
The defendants knew Ahmaud never committed a felony just a few days before they killed him. The entire defense of Ahmaud was committing a felony is gone with the defendants own words.
Remember. For a citizens arrest to be lawful there needs to be a felony committed. The defense has tried to say Ahmaud did commit one by entering the construction site. But just a week before the killing the defendant clearly states he knew Ahmaud only committed a misdemeanor.
Linda brings up the defense lawyer that painted Ahmaud at fault for his own death. The disgusting woman that called Ahmaud dirty. She says “you’re not gonna fall for that.”
Deconstructs the defense angle that Ahmaud was responsible for his own death, and point by point goes down every single action by the defendants that directly resulted in Ahmaud’s death. It was McMichaels and Bryans fault. Not Ahmaud’s.
Shows the first video available caught on a neighbors security camera that shows the defenses claim they started chasing Ahmaud because their neighbor pointed the direction he ran by, was a lie. They were already on their way before the neighbor pointed.
Defense claims they got into their truck because they saw Ahmaud run by, and a neighbor pointing toward him. They say they interpreted it to mean the neighbor was trying to bring Ahmaud to their attention.
But they started the chase before the neighbor pointed.
“Travis says he didn’t know what his father said to Ahmaud. Really? Do you really believe that? Do you believe for a minute he was talking softly to Ahmaud? Do you think the Travis on the stand was the same person Ahmaud saw?”
Plays a very amped up recording of Travis yelling.
Plays a very aggressive tape that captures the manner of commands used with Ahmaud. “STOP DAMNIT!!”
Explains that is a form of assault. It’s a threat.
“Never told police he witnessed Ahmaud commit a crime because he didn’t. He was sitting on his couch. He told you he asked Ahmaud what he was doing, because he didn’t witness any crime.”
Brings up he was acting this way because he saw a black man running.
Moves onto defendant Bryan.
Explains Bryan knew instantly they were trying to confine and detain Ahmaud and made the decision to join. “That is what being party to the crime is. He joined in. ‘Y’all got him?’”
Explains the criminal statements Bryan made on the scene. How Bryan assaulted Ahmaud with his truck. Criminal assault with a deadly weapon. And also admits to confining him.
“Felony murder right here. Assault. Criminal confinement. But for those actions Ahmaud would be alive.”
Linda is a gangster.
Ties all three men into equal responsibility. Travis directly committed the crime, but they all worked together to accomplish it. So they are all three guilty of murder because of the law in Georgia.
“Under the law in Georgia it’s as if they all were holding the gun together. Party to a crime.”
She ties all three men into equal parts of Ahmaud’s murder.
Moves to the crime scene.
Uses blood spatter to tell the story of the order of gunshots. Lists both shots as lethal shots.
Moves to Greg McMichael attempting to control the narrative on the scene.
Tells a stranger the dead body in the road is “an asshole”
“Malice. Right there.”
Explains that the two trucks were never searched. Neither truck was impounded. The defendants took them home while the crime scene tech is taking photos. They tried to control the crime scene.
She’s implying knowledge of guilt.
Uses Greg McMichaels words to police.
“Stop or I’ll blow your fucking head off.”
Again for the second time mentions Ahmaud’s race. That was why they chased him.
“Today you are Glen County. You decide. This is not about an agenda. You’re gonna decide what happened based on the evidence. It’s not about being an advocate for anybody. It’s about a search for the truth. Remember party to a crime. Start from the bottom of the verdict form.”
“Ladies and gentleman here’s the thing. This isn’t about whether these three men are good or bad people. It’s about accountability. Nobody gets a free pass. The law says, if you commit a crime you’re held accountable. They know what they did. It’s not a mystery to them.”
“A guilty verdict is just telling them, we know what you did too. I ask you to find all three defendants guilty of all charges in the indictment.”
Prosecution rests. She killed it.
Fuck she’s really good.
Another difference between this trial and the Rittenhouse trial is the clarity the judge is giving the jury on the law. Very clear. Easy to understand. He’s basically repeating the prosecutions points of the law.
The prosecutions interpretation of the laws and the judges have so far lined up precisely.
For the first time the jury’s ability to give Bryan lesser charges is brought up.
The judge backs up the states interpretation of legal citizens arrest. The attempt at citizens arrest (which wasn’t what they were doing) was unlawful.
Brings up the states argument that excessive force is unlawful during citizens arrest.
The entire defense rests on the jury believing Ahmaud entered the construction zone with unlawful intent. If the defense has proven that he did enter with unlawful intent, they may walk. All boils down to that.
Judge describes a “break in” occurs when someone’s body crosses the entrance plane of the building.
Bottom line
If the races of the parties were switched there would be no suspense on the verdict. If Ahmaud was white and the McMichaels and Bryan were black we wouldn’t doubt the outcome. But we are in Georgia with a 90%+ white jury.
There’s small pieces in the judge instructions that make clear why the defense used the tactics they used. There are small cracks in the law that if the jury believes applies to the defendants they may get off. Little legal wedges.
And that’s it. The jury has the case.
Fuckin pray they get it right. I’m not sure America can handle them getting it wrong.

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