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tv   CNN Newsroom With Ana Cabrera  CNN  November 24, 2021 10:00am-11:00am PST

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already, the north carolina congressman, corthawn, uses a wheelchair after an accident left him paralyzed. xi jinping and "the stakes for america" is on sunday night at 9:00 p.m. an a ad cabrera picks up our coverage right now. hello, i'm ana cabrera. thanks so much for joining us. day two of deliberations in the ahmaud arbery trial are underway. anticipation for a potential verdict to come today ahead of thanksgiving is high. the jury right now weighing the fate of these three men who are accused of hunting down and killing arbery. jurors made a request just hours ago to rewatch graphic video of
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arbery's death. the jury also wanted to relisten to part of a 911 call that was made by one of the defendants in the final moments of arbery's life. >> 911, what's the address of your emergency? >> i'm here at satilla shores. >> where at in satilla shores? >> stop! >> sir? >> hello? >> sir? >> cnn's sara sidner joins us live there in brunswick, georgia. sara, there are so many questions right now about why this jury wanted to see and hear that specific evidence again. the 911 call was something they referenced multiple times throughout this trial. tell us more about the specific video they wanted to see.
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>> reporter: the specific video really is one of the most important pieces of evidence in this case because it is video of the actual incident, of the actual killing of ahmaud arbery, video that much of the public has seen. the video they asked for is they wanted a slow motion version of the video of the shooting of ahmaud arbery, and then they wanted a very high-resolution version of that video. they wanted to watch those videos three times each and then listen to that 911 call you heard there that was made by greg mcmichael. and so it's important because, you know, the murder charges, there are five of them, and the prosecution has said that these three men, excuse me, used their two trucks to corner ahmaud arbery, so falsely imprison him, and then eventually they used those trucks and their bodies and the gun to kill him, to murder him. the defense saying their idea of all this is that the men were
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simply going after him, thinking he had committed a crime, and they were trying to make a citizen's arrest and ended up fighting over the gun and were simply defending themselves. so you have these two lines of arguments that the jury is trying to sort out. they have a lot of charges per person. there are nine per person that they have to look at and decide everything from five counts of murder to aggravated assault to false imprisonment. but the video is paramount, as you might imagine, in any case where you have an actual video that they have to deliberate on. that's what we've heard. we know they have gone to lunch. we do not know if they're deliberating over lunch. they did so yesterday. ana? >> sara sidner, i appreciate it. with us now is a legal commentator and civil rights attorney, and bob bonke, a civil
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rights leader there. do you feel like they're close, and if you don't, what does that tell you? >> i doo, ana, i do feel they'r close. yesterday they asked if they could deliberate past when the time was over, leading me to believe they were close. they did not do, they ultimately went home and started again today. these cases, typically before a holiday, they want to come up with a verdict so they can go home and be with their families. i can't read the minds of these jurors, but i won't be surprised if after lunch, we have them come into the courtroom and tell the judge they have reached a unanimous verdict in terms of all three of these defendants. >> let's talk about what they wanted to watch today, because the jury asked to see the video
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in realtime of when those fatal shots were fired. they ended up watching that video three times this morning. areve, take us inside the jury room. >> the three big things are citizen's arrest, what made them want to make a citizen's arrest, meaning did they witness a crime, did a crime happen in their presence or did they have knowledge of a crime. i think they wanted to see this video for a couple reasons. they wanted to see what ahmaud arbery was doing, what travis mcmichael was doing, and most importantly what greg mcmichael was doing when he made this 911 call. did he say anything to this specific officer about witnessing a crime? what was his state of mind when he was talking to the 911 dispatch officer? we heard the dispatcher say, what is your emergency, and he didn't say i just watched
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someone commit a crime, he didn't say he watched him run from inside a house, he said a black man ran down the street. the jury needs to figure out what was the state of mind of greg mcmichael or the provocation as travis mcmichael made those shots on ahmaud arbery. >> there are nine different counts and three different defendants who all had different roles. is that complicated? >> i think it's very complicated. they have to go through a tremendous amount of very complex law trying to figure out at certain times, who is the aggressor, who isn't the aggressor, what was reasonable, what wasn't reasonable. each of these defendants has a different amount of culpability. a shooter is one thing, as opposed to the other end of the
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spectrum, roddie bryan is actually taping the evidence in the case. so they each have to go through charges, each which must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. they must go through whether the prosecution has proven fault beyond a reasonable doubt. you may have more on one or two and not a third. as a trial lawyer, we sit there and try to gauge what's happening, but as a prosecutor, i'm concerned about one thing and one thing only. this would have been the nail biter last night before the jury came back to deliberate. it's a thing we call, ana, jury nullification. that's where they say, yeah, they violated the law, but given the circumstances, making the 911 call, everyone seems to be amped up, this is a quiet
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neighborhood under siege. even though he may have technically violated the law, we just don't feel comfortable convicting the defendant. nullification is a huge issue for prosecutors right now, and that's why she put that in her rebuttal argument, because she know it, too. >> but bob, do you feel these prose prosecutors talked about their guilt to a reasonable doubt? >> the prosecution put on a very strong case, but there is a lot of technicalities here. she certainly gave the jury all the information they would need in order to convict him, so i think that's there. but, again, the defense did a very good job at painting a picture of a community that was under siege and that their actions were reasonable given the fact that ahmaud arbery had been there, again, that crazy
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argument about the toenails aside, the defense argument that this is a quiet neighborhood, these people were in fear of their lives, and based on the initial encounter of travis mcmichael when he thought ahmaud arbery had a gun in a previous incident they later -- the defense was trying to say that was all contextual about what was occurring on that day. you can't divorce what travis mcmichael knew when he confronted ahmaud arbery a second time and then came running at him. i think the jurors will want to look at that video to make the determination, who is the aggressor here? is ahmaud arbery going after travis mcmichael or is it travis mcmichael introducing a gun in a fight with an unarmed man who had nothing in his possession. of course, we know there was no crime committed by ahmaud arbery on that particular day, which goes directly to the citizen's
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arrest claim. >> really quick, areva, before we wrap it up, i want to remind our viewers that these three defendants, regardless what happens in this trial, will face federal hate crime charges, and that trial is set to begin in february. do you see the verdict, whichever way it goes here, areva, having an impact on the federal case? >> i think it could have an impact because we're seeing online people asking why was there no more about race entered in this case. we know there were racial statements made by travis mcmichael. there's been all these issues around race that weren't directly introduced by the state in the state case. those issues will be on full display in this federal hate crime trial that's supposed to take place in february, and no matter what happens today, friday, or whenever the jury comes back in this case, i don't think these defendants are ever
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going to see outside of a jail cell. i think they're going to be found guilty either by this jury or by a federal jury for brutally murdering ahmaud arbery. >> areva martin and bob bonke, thank you for being with us. let's head to wisconsin now where a sixth victim has died, a ch child, after an suv barrelled through a holiday parade. we have learned eight-year-old jackson spike died from his injuries yesterday. the alleged driver, 39-year-old darrell brooks, appeared in court yesterday. his bail is set at $5 million and he could face additional charges now. we also have some new doorbell video of brooks reportedly
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asking for help and he was arrested minutes later. adrian, there are now six deaths in this horrible incident. what more do you know about the victims and their families? >> ana, we will start with the sparks family. we know jackson sparks, the child who is now deceased, underwent brain surgery on sunday. on a gofundme page, the family noted that jackson would need a miracle. they also asked for prayers for jackson's older brother, tucker. he's 12 years old and tucker had a brain fracture. he is expected to be released from the hospital later this week. there are six crosses. each cross holds a heart. on those hearts people from the community have been showing up writing messages. we were here when a 13-year-old kneeled down by the cross
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bearing jackson's name. she went to write a message but could not finish that message, she was so overwhelmed with grief. moments after we spoke with her and her mom. listen in. >> it was just a few minutes of a terrible thing. we're all happy to be out together, it just wasn't the way it was supposed to be. i . >> she is really sad. >> yeah, she is really sad. she was in the parade. the car went past her so we're all grateful. >> those families thankful but their thoughts are with the family of the sparks' parents, knowing no parent should have to bury their child. a message on one of those hearts also says, i love and miss you, mom. i will continue to make you
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proud. ana? >> such a sad story all around. thank you so much for your reporting, adrienne broadus. high prices and the covid crisis not stopping the traveling boom. the tsa is expecting long crowds and huge delays at the airports. what you should know before checking in. plus the best jobs reports we've seen in decades. weekly jobs crushing expectations, falling to their lowest level since 1969. but confusion continues to reai on their recovery. we will take you inside nasa's effort to push a giant as ter oid away from earth.
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today is one of the busiest travel days in years. at the airports, the number of passengers is expected to double last year's total, quickly approaching pre-pandemic levels. the roads will be jam-packed as well with nearly 50 million americans expected to drive to their holiday destinations. we're covering all the angles for you. pete muntean is live at a travel plaza in maryland and stephanie elam is at the los angeles international airport. pete, high prices don't seem to be stopping anyone from traveling. what are you sneeing? >> reporter: i'm at i-95. the worst time to drive is now until 9:00 p.m.
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30 million people will hit the road, according to aaa, and what's interesting that number really not that far off from where we were before the pandemic in 2019. this projection only off by about 3% from the actual number in 2019. but people are really going to pay for it, the highest gas prices we've seen in seven years. the average price of a gallon of regular right now, $3.40 nationwide. that is up from $1.30 from where we were a year ago. the bottom line is the traffic is back and the cost is back. travelers i've been talking to here were between wilmington and baltimore. they say they're fine with swallowing the cost. >> i guess that's the price you have to pay. we can be -- i mean, we're still in a pandemic. we can be isolated in the house. i'd rather pay more and be with my family. >> i think family is important, time spent together is important, so i guess if you want to make time and get there,
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you'll go. >> last year i couldn't make it. this year i'm doing it. >> reporter: maryland's transportation authority responsible for this stretch of i-95 says maybe wait until after 11:00 p.m. or simply go tomorrow when there is less traffic, ana. >> sounds good. let's get back to stephanie at lax, and of course people hate to deal with lines, but what are they looking like right now? >> i hate to jinx it for people who are coming to lax later, ana, but right now it doesn't look too bad here behind me. it's starting to pick up a bit behind me. i think there is an early rush and a later one. they are expecting 20 million people to fly this holiday. ian is embracing thanksgiving. ian, did you have any concerns about flying the day before thanksgiving and how busy it might be here? >> he with actually knew
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traveling today might be tough, but we're traveling with the family every year. it's a tradition. so we were ready. >> so is your garb part of your readiness? what are you signifying to everybody dressed as a turkey today? >> to be thankful for everything they have. always count your blessings. >> good luck, ian. you can see people traveling here, it's busy but not as bad as we expected it to be. >> stephanie elam, thank you. we have breaking news. >> our breaking news at this hour, we have just received word a verdict in the ahmaud arbery murder trial has been determined by this jury of 12, and i want to bring back areva martin as we await the judge to make the announcement for the jury to deliver their verdict. areva, we just spoke moments ago. you felt a verdict was imminent. what's going through your mind right now? >> yeah, i'm a little nervous, to be honest with you, ana.
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i have these flashbacks with respect to what happened with trayvon martin and george zimmer zi zimmerman. that was a very similar case of authority who thought they were trayvon martin has that issue with george zimmerman. george zimmerman was in fear of his life when he shot and killed trayvon martin. i'm glad the verdict has come in. we've all been waiting very patiently for the jury to make its determination, but to be honest with you, i'm very nervous about what this could mean. >> and a reminder to our viewers, there are a total of nine counts for each of the three defendants, so 27 counts total if you do the math there. and each of these men are facing the same counts that range from
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murder to aggravated assault to false imprisonment. so when we get the verdict delivered, we are told that it's going to go defendant by defendant. so you'll hear all nine counts verdict for one defendant before moving on to the next defendant. again, they could come back with a verdict that is guilty for one defendant and not for the other. areva, what do you see as the most likely possibility here? any thoughts on that? >> one of the cases, one of the cases that stands out the most in terms of being distinguishable from the others is roddie bryan. as we heard from his defense attorney, roddie thought he was a witness. he cooperated with police officers, he provided police officers with that videotape he took on his cell phone. his lawyer said he was shocked and just really flabbergasted when he found out he was actually a suspect and then he was ultimately arrested and charged with the murder. so i'm going to be watching very closely, ana, to see how the
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jury responds to roddie bryan. do they separate him from the mcmichaels? do they see him as being less culpable because he didn't pull out a weapon, because he didn't get out of his truck. we saw the prosecutor make this very powerful argument about him using his truck in a way that constituted an aggravated assault, that he falsely imprisoned ahmaud arbery, that it was his truck and the truck of travis mcmichael that trapped ahmaud arbery and led to the shooting death of ahmaud by travis mcmichael. the jurists could see him as being distinguishable between travis and greg mcmichael. then there's travis. travis is the shooter. greg didn't shoot anyone, even though the prosecutors made the case they're parties to a crime. we'll see how all these defendants are treated and if they're treated differently. >> again, for viewers just tuning in, we have a verdict on the ahmaud arbery murder trial. we have three men accused of
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murdering ahmaud arbery, and we anticipate the jury to deliver their verdict any moment now. i want to go live to the courthouse in brunswick, georgia, and our sara sidner is on scene there. sara, what's happening there now? what is the community doing? >> reporter: just to reiterate here in brunswick, georgia, the sheriff's department of glen county has said the jury in the ahmaud arbery killing has reached a verdict. whenever that happens in any case, and especially this one, because as you'll remember, this case took a very long time to come into court. it took a very long time to get arrests. there was about three months in between the killing of ahmaud arbery and the arrests of the men that are now charged with his murder, and there were a couple of prosecutors that had to recuse themselves in the case, one of whom was indicted by a grand jury in the case for her actions in the case.
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they want the public to know. these are things the jury can't consider when they come to the public, but there have been groups of people out here in support of ahmaud arbery and his family every single day. the last couple days there's been a couple dozen people who have come out. they were very prayerful last night, there was a rabbi and several pastors talking to a gru group of people. you could hear the community, because they asked the community a question. they said to the community, what are your feelings right now in one word? you heard all sorts of different things, like injustice, waiting too long, the word racism. you heard people talking about concern, about what might happen because of the verdict, worry, fear, frustration with how this case has been handled here in this county. you're hearing from the jury also today. not long ago they asked for the judge to let them see evidence. the evidence they wanted to look
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at has been paramount to this case. it was evidence of the shooting itself. they wanted to watch the video both in slow motion and high def. they wanted to make sure they had gone over that video three times more. that was played for them in court. then they wanted to listen to the 911 call made by gregory mcmichael, that's the father of travis mcmichael. travis mcmichael is the person who shot ahmaud arbery that day in february 2020. they wanted to listen to that, hear what they were saying, and you know the arguments here, ana, but i'll just go over them. there are nine charges for each person. the jury can come up with charging no one, they can come up with charging one of the three, two of the three, all three, and they can come up with charging them different things. five of those counts, however, are murder charges, and they go through those. murder malice, murder after an attempted felony. so this jury is having to go through quite a bit of information. they've spent two weeks in
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trial, almost two weeks in trial listening to evidence. the prosecution has said, look, these men basically acted as vigilantes, they did not wait for police, they hunted him down and killed him. the defense has a very different story, as you might imagine. they said, look, they did go after ahmaud arbery, they were chasing him, however, they were trying to do a citizen's arrest and they ended up with a struggle with the gun and it was self-defense, and that's how they have presented their case to the jury. there have been immense overtones and undertones in this case, things brought up about ahmaud arbery's character, even his appearance. that brought quite an upset from the family when one of the attorneys for the defendant, greg mcmichael, she described what he was wearing, these baggy clothes.
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basically he's not like us. he also had shoes on without socks and he had long dirty tonails. as you might imagine, the mother disgusted hearing that. she ran out of court because she simply could not hear that. she thought it was very rude that they would mention that and also mentioned that her son has a huge hole in his heart after meeting up with travis mcmichael. clearly the evidence they needed to see again and the only evidence they asked to see again were those videos, that the public has seen, by the way. the public saw this video in realtime as it was sent out on the internet. so they wanted to see that in slow motion, they wanted to see that very clearly. they watched it, they deliberated and it didn't take them long before they came back out and decided that they had a verdict. that means that this jury is not hung. it means that they have come up with something and they are ready to tell the judge and the court exactly what they have decided here.
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what does it feel like here? it is always nerve-wracking no matter which side of the case you're on, no matter if you stand with the defendants or you stand with ahmaud arbery and his family, there are always nerves here. in any court case, when there is something that serious that has also captured the public's attention across the country, yes, security is going to be high, not only in this city but in many cities worrying about what this verdict and the reaction of this may bring. but ultimately the jury's decision, it is sacrosanct. whatever they decide, that is what you will hear in court. it will be likely read as to each count whether it's guilty or not guilty from the jury's perspective. we are expecting, and you can see crowds gathering, larger crowds gathering outside the court. people have been very, very respectful. they have been quiet for the most part. but in the last couple of days, you know, there have been more
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people who have started to gather. as people start hearing that there is going to be a verdict, they are going to start showing up, most likely, in larger numbers as this jury comes out and lets the world know what they have decided in the case of the killing of ahmaud arbery back in february of 2020, ana. >> again, the jury has reached a verdict in the ahmaud arbery murder trial, the trial of three men accused of murdering ahmaud arbery. this jury deliberated for a little over 11 hours starting midday yesterday, returning to court this morning asking for those additional pieces of evidence. let's go live now to the courtroom. >> they are represented by counsel. i understand we have a verdict. let's go and get the panel .
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>> okay, as we watch live what's happening inside the courtroom, as we await the verdict to be read by the jury. we understand they're just waiting for the jury to come into the courtroom. there you see william bryan, one of the three suspects as all three suspects are in court waiting to hear what this jury decided as they deliberated the past 11-plus hours. we have laura coates here, a former federal prosecutor who has been covering this trial for us throughout. as we watch and wait here, laura, 11 hours of deliberation, you know they watched those pieces of video this morning, the shooting, the moments that ahmaud arbery lost his life as well as listened to the 911 call made by greg mcmichael that day, and when asked what's your emergency, he responded a man was running. let's listen in.
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>> please be seated. >> all right, ladies and gentlemen, welcome back. madam foreperson, i understand you have reached a verdict as to each defendant. >> we have, your honor. >> please hand your verdict forms to the sheriff .
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i'm going to do and address each one of these verdict forms separately. the first verdict form i have is the state of georgia versus travis mcmichael. mr. mcmichael, please stand. the verdict is as follows. in the superior court of glen county, state of georgia, the
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state of georgia versus travis mcmichael, case number cr-00043. jury verdict form. count 1, malice murder. we, the jury, find the defendant travis mcmichael guilty. >> whoo! >> i ask that whoever just made an outburst be removed from the court, please. as this court has indicated, i
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ask that there be no outbursts and i ask that of the panel also. if you need to make a comment regarding the verdict, i ask that you step outside the courtroom now. count 2. felony murder. we, the jury, find the defendant travis mcmichael guilty. count 3. felony murder. we the jury find the defendant travis mcmichael guilty. count 4. felony murder. we the jury find the defendant travis mcmichael guilty. count 5, felony murder. we, the jury, find the defendant travis mcmichael guilty. count 6. aggravated assault. we, the jury, find the defendant travis mcmichael guilty. count 7. aggravated assault. we, the jury, find the defendant travis mcmichael guilty. count 8. false imprisonment.
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we, the jury, find the defendant travis mcmichael guilty. count 9. criminal attempt to commit a felony. we, the jury, find the defendant travis mcmichael guilty. dated this 24th day of november, 2021, signed by the foreperson. have a seat. as to gregory mcmichael, in the superior court of glen county, the state of georgia versus greg mcmichael, case number cr-2000433. jury verdict form. count 1, malice murder. we, the jury, find the defendant greg mcmichael not guilty. count 2, felony murder. we, the jury, find the defendant greg mcmichael guilty. count 3, felony murder. we, the jury find the defendant greg mcmichael guilty.
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count 4, felony murder. we, the jury, find the defendant greg mcmichael guilty. count 5, felony murder. we, the jury, find the defendant greg mcmichael guilty. count 6, aggravated assault. we, the jury, find the defendant greg mcmichael guilty. count 7, aggravated assault. we, the jury, find the defendant greg mcmichael guilty. count 8, false imprisonment. we, the jury, find the defendant greg mcmichael guilty. count 9, criminal attempt to commit a felony. we, the jury, find the defendant greg mcmichael guilty. this 24th day of november, 2021, signed by the foreperson. as to william r. bryan. in the superior court of glen county, state of georgia, state of georgia versus william r.
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bryan, case number cr-20000433, jury verdict form. count 1, malice murder. we, the jury, find william r. bryan not guilty. count 2, felony murder. we, the jury, find william r. bryan not guilty. count 3, felony murder. we, the jury, find defendant william r. bryan guilty. count 4, felony murder. we, the jury find the defendant, william r. bryan guilty. count 5, felony murder. we, the jury, find the defendant, william r. bryan, guilty. count 6. aggravated assault. we, the jury, find the defendant william r. bryan not guilty. count 7, aggravated assault. we, the jury, find the defendant william r. bryan guilty. count 8, false imprisonment. we, the jury, find the defendant
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william r. bryan guilty. count 9, criminal attempt to commit a felony. we, the jury, find the defendant william r. bryan guilty. signed this 24th day of november by the foreperson. go ahead and have a seat. the court having read the verdicts and accepted the verdicts. anything from the state? >> your honor, nothing from the state. >> anything from the defense? >> we ask that the jury be pulled, your honor. >> ladies and gentlemen, i'm going to ask each of you individually a set of two questions with respect to the verdicts that i have just read. if you can please respond when you hear your juror number. juror number 1, you have heard the verdicts read. were these your verdicts then and are these your verdicts now? >> yes, sir. >> juror number 2.
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you have heard the verdicts read. were these your verdicts then and are these your verdicts now? >> yes, sir. >> i can't -- okay. juror number 3, you have heard the verdicts read. were these your verdicts then and are these your verdicts now? >> yes. >> juror number 4, you have heard the verdicts read. were these your verdicts then and are these your verdicts now? >> yes, sir. >> juror number 5, you have heard the verdicts read. were these your verdicts then and are these your verdicts now? >> yes, your honor. >> juror number 7. you have heard the verdicts read. were these your verdicts then and are these your verdicts now? >> yes, your honor. >> juror number 8. you have heard the verdicts read. were these your verdicts then and are these your verdicts now? >> yes, your honor. >> juror number 9.
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you have heard the verdicts read. were these your verdicts then and are these your verdicts now? >> yes, your honor. >> juror number 10. you have heard the verdicts read. were these your verdicts then and are these your verdicts now? >> yes, your honor. >> juror number 11. you have heard the verdicts read. were these your verdicts then and are these your verdicts now? >> yes, your honor. >> juror number 12. you have heard the verdicts read. were these your verdicts then and are these your verdicts now? >> yes, your honor. >> and juror 16. you have heard the verdicts read. were these your verdicts then and are these your verdicts now? >> yes, sir. the injury has been pollpolled. anything further from the defense? >> no, your honor. >> ladies and gentlemen, what that means with the court having accepted your verdict is that
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your role in this case is now at an end. what we're going to do today is i'm going to have all of you, the panel and the three alternates, go ahead and retire to the jury room. i'm going to address a couple matters logistically with you in the jury room once we get done here. but before we do that and before i excuse you, i do want to thank you publicly for your service here in glen county. it has been a long trial, and i appreciate the fact that you have been in attendance. you have listened to the evidence and that is what we ask in this court. it's a very simple ask in a very complex way. so it's appreciated. when we all got together -- i say we all got together -- when we got together at different times, i said i was going to thank you a number of times and how i was going to tell you i do truly appreciate your time here. hopefully you understand why i said that when we started. i do also hope that you got a little bit of an insight into what goes on in a trial and maybe understand a little bit
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more of how important it is for members of our community to come down and be part of this process and serve as jurors in this community. again, thank you for that service. i'll address you all in a moment. you are excused. >> all rise for the jury . >> all right, it is this court's usual practice with regard to sentencing to go ahead and give everybody some time to put together what they need to put together for a full sentencing hearing. i'm going to have to look at the
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schedule and see how that works with my schedule up in chatham county and the schedule here in glen county. i'll get back to everybody about some dates and see what works with respect to dates. that should give everybody an opportunity to put together whatever evidence may be shown in aggravation from the state or mitigation from the defense. hopefully we'll get to that in the next couple weeks. again, i'll make sure counsel knows what those dates are. that addresses the open matter, then, before the court. anything from the state before we adjourn? >> nothing further from the state, your honor. >> from travis mcmichael? >> no, your honor. >> from greg mcmichael? >> no, your honor. >> and from mr. bryan? >> no, your honor. >> the defendants are asked to remain in the custody of the sheriff and we are adjourned. thank you. >> there you have it, the breaking news, the verdict in the ahmaud arbery murder trial. all three defendants found
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guilty of murdering ahmaud arbery in february of 2020. let me go back to former federal prosecutor laura coates and get your reaction first to this verdict, laura. >> this was absolutely the right call. and this is the essence of justice. however, when you're talking about the loss of life of a 25-year-old jogger whose mother has been inside that courtroom, whose father has been inside that courtroom where the final thing that the jury saw was who ahmaud arbery was before he encountered these three men, three strangers, who felt entitled for him to stop simply because they thought they had some authority to get somebody who was jogging to stop and talk to him. and when he didn't, they pulled out a shotgun and he was shot and killed. remember in that video that is so graphic and so horrible to look at, even then he tried to run and the adrenaline was kicking in and he fell again.
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remember, this is somebody who tried to run away for five minutes until he was cornered, could run no more, and it was the idea of having all three men accountable. roddie bryan said initially he was only a witness to the crime, but in reality the jurors were not persuaded by that. although he did videotape it, he played an active role. the father, greg mcmichael, who was in the back of the truck played an active role in pursuing travis mcmichael who was the person who actually shot him, played an active role. but this case comes down to one, the absence of a viable claim of self-defense. the idea that even when travis mcmichael took the stand and said, no, he never threatened me. no, i don't recall him trying to take the gun, no, he never shouted at me. how could you possibly make a case at that point for self-defense. more importantly, in the world of georgia, they have a party to the crime, an expansive statute that says, look, if you
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here travis mcmichael pulled the trigger. that is not in dispute. the over two men aided and abetted hunting this man down. why? because they wanted him to stop. not because they had some viable color of law or authority, these are people who for all intents and purposes are laymen. the prosecution did a phenomenal job ensuring that the jurors saw each of these men were culpable and there was no self-defense claim. but i caution people when i say this, and i say this is justice in action. this is really a traumatic experience for this family, a traumatic experience for the nation. one in which justice could never fully be realized when you have the loss of someone's life. but in georgia, each of these three memben, the men that took away the life of somebody's son,
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somebody's loved one, a human being, they will now serve the rest of their lives in jail. and, ana, this is not the end of it. they now will have a federal hate crime trial. and one more point if i can. a law was made about the racial composition of this jury. the idea there's only one black juror. many people thought in a county of 27% of black people and 25% from that pool to have only one black juror, to have the defense counsel refuse to want to allow black pastors in the courtroom, criticism for the prosecution not raising race enough, 12 human beings recognized that a human being was hunted down and killed. why? because he was running. and according to that 911 call that the jurors wanted to hear, the emergency to these men was a black man running. now, this tells you a lot about what we perceive to mean about the jury pool, what we think about the composition of jurors.
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but 12 human beings, 11 white, one black, came to the same conclusion of what they saw. a black man hunted down on the streets of brunswick, georgia. why? simply because he existed and had the audacity to run and not stop when three white strangers told him they'd blow his head off if he didn't. >> laura coates, stand by with me. that was nine white women, three men, two of those men white, one of them black. you talk about how this family has lived with this hole in their hearts as they have awaited this day and this verdict. and we heard during that court proceeding, after the first guilty verdict was read, a woohoo in the courtroom. we've learned that came from the father of ahmaud arbery who could not contain his emotion clearly when that verdict was delivered. let's go live to sara sidner on
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scene now outside the courthouse. sara, what can you tell us? >> reporter: look, i'm standing here with ryan, who has been here throughout the trial from the very beginning now to the very end. both of us can hear loud chants just behind us. you're hearing people saying "we got justice." that is the sentiment of the crowd outside. as you mentioned, this jury was made up of nine white men, two white men and one black man but they all came up with a decision together. almost all of the nine counts of each of these men they were found already. there were a couple of charges that dropped off for greg mcmichael, the malice murder charge they said not guilty but the other four they say guilty. and william bryan, he didn't pull a gun, he was with them, he did use his truck, but those charges that had to do with having a firearm, he did not
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face those charges. but everything else, he faced. and that includes murder and aggravated assault. >> and i think the thing that stands out to both of us is the fact that it was also his cell phone that captured this video. there was a lot of people who were upset in this community about the fact it took so long for these charges ever to be filed. this happened back in february of 2020. people were so angry about it. it took a gbi investigation to get to the point where the charges are now. and then to have this community on edge all day, walking around and talking to business leaders here, they were concerned about how this community was going to be bruised by the information that we've seen over and over again. but then you think about it. something that laura coates brought up here is the ending, the prosecution ended up zeroing in on that video. just a few hours ago when you popped up live, those jurors wanted to see that video again. i can tell you, when you watch the video with nothing else but the video, it kind of shakes you
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and they wanted to watch it three times in a row. >> i want to go to elie honig now. as i look at this form that you helped make in order to keep track of all of the verdicts, because there were 27 different verdicts, a reminder it is interesting. travis mcmichael, he was the one who shot and killed ahmaud arbery. he was found guilty on all nine counts. his father, greg mcmichael was found guilty on eight counts, but not malice murder but the felony murder charges. and the third defendant, william bryan, was found guilty on six counts, not guilty on a couple of murder counts but guilty other others. so all three men were found guilty of murder and that's the most important point to underscore here because the sentence is the same with all these murder charges, life in prison, right? >> exactly, ana. big picture, this is justice. this is justice for ahmaud arbery, for his family, for his parents who bore all of this
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with such grace and dignity. the verdict itself, i think, reminds us that we had a full and fair and complete and careful criminal justice process here. this is how trials are supposed to work. your jurors are supposed to shut out all the noise, all the politics around this, and make their decision based solely on the facts and the law. i think the verdict sheet shows that they were very careful. they didn't just say guilty across the board, not guilty across the board, they tailored the verdict to the facts and now all three of these men will spend life in prison. >> let me bring in mark o'meara. you may recall mark from the trayvon martin, a much different outcome than we are seeing here. mark, first your thoughts about this verdict and this case. >> i'm glad we have one. i had mentioned along the way that i was concerned because of the geography of where it was and the fact there were 11 whites on the panel.
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but we know from the verdicts that they deliberated well and they were paying attention during the trial. they used the jury instructions the way they should have. if you look at it, as elie just said, they looked at it and assigned responsibility appropriately to the three people involved. travis, of course, the first charged, the murder charge, the malice murder. dad, not the shooter but still heavily involved in leading to the death. he got that charge. roddy bryan less involved but still committed and involved with the felony murder that they had. so i'm glad they took their time and walked through all of the verdicts the way they did because now it can be accepted as a well educated and well thought out verdict. not only as justice been served for the ahmaud arbery family but the community and those who live in the system. the opposite verdict, a hung jury or one with an acquittal
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would have been impossible to defend with the facts of this case. >> thank you, mark. i want to bring in cnn political commentators ba kkari sellers. we've talked so much about racial justice. this case happened prior to the killing of george floyd in minnesota, but it had so many of the same threads that kind of all fall into that same bucket. and we talk about the role race played in this case and the upcoming hate crime trial that these same defendants will face at a federal level. what do you think today's verdict means more broadly in that discussion? >> well, i hate to push back on my colleagues today who are much more brilliant than i and probably better lawyers than i. i don't think today is about justice. i think ahmaud arbery being alive is justice. i think today is about something
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more fleeting for black people in this country and situations like this, which is accountability. today is a day just like the derek chauvin trial where you have accountability for people who hunt people down, murder them and don't give them the benefit of their humanity. the unique thing today is we found out lynching is still legal in the united states of america. that's what we all saw. but we also know how difficult this journey was for this family to even get to this day of accountability. we know how difficult it was to even bring charges against these individuals. and so i believe that today is the day that this country needed. i don't want to say deserved, but needed, ana, because the fact is just imagine if we're sitting here talking about not guilty verdicts. i believe that this country and our democracy is fundamentally fragile and hanging on by a thread. and i don't believe that a not
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guilty verdict today would have served as well as a country. in fact going into this holiday weekend i think it would have torn this country apart. that's how fragile our democracy is. that's how tired and exhausting it is for people of color. i've been talking to ben crump and lee merrick all day long. today we've had that accountability. but i will tell you this is just one day and finally we got it. tomorrow will come and hopefully more black people won't be killed because of the color of their skin. >> bakari sellers, thank you. thank you to all of our guests, our analysts, our reporters this past hour. i'm going to hand it off to alisyn camerota who picks up the breaking news now. hello, everyone. welcome to newsroom,


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