Preliminary Hearing in Arbery Case

Abery Preliminary Hearing

Attorney Page Pate has been representing people charged with serious crimes in the State of Georgia for over 25 years. Page is also recognized as a legal analyst and criminal defense attorney, and he is often asked by the media to provide opinions and analysis of high-profile cases appearing in the news. 

In this case, The Daily Report asked Page Pate to provide his analysis on the Ahmaud Arbery murder case, as an experienced criminal defense attorney, to discuss the preliminary hearing of Greg McMichael, Travis McMichael, and William Bryan, Jr. The defendants are charged with felony murder and aggravated assault as a result of the February 2020 shooting of Ahmaud Arbery, an unarmed African American man, in Brunswick, Georgia. The case has received national attention due to the alleged racial motivation of the crime, the apparent misconduct by the local investigating law enforcement agencies and district attorney’s office, and the publicized video of the incident. 

During the preliminary hearing held on June 4, 2020, testimony revealed that the video of Mr. Arbery’s murder is actually longer than what was released on social media, and that the longer version shows that Travis McMichael used a racial slur after the shooting of Mr. Arbery, while standing over Mr. Arbery’s body. 

Page was asked about the admissibility of this slur at the trial of the defendants and he explained that whether or not the racial slur can be heard on the video could be an important point as the case goes forward. Page says “That’s some devastating evidence, but we don’t know if it’s going to be admissible,” because if it is not on the video, it could be hearsay if all of the defendants are tried together and William Bryan does not testify. On the other hand, if it is heard on the video, it would be admissible. Page further explained that the questions asked by the defense attorneys in the preliminary hearing were more open and broader than they will be at trial. He said “The preliminary hearing is more like a deposition…better to hear it now than later.”

After the preliminary hearing, the case was bound over to the Glynn County Superior Court to proceed. The defendants remain in the custody of the Glynn County Jail, without bond. 



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