Attorney Page Pate, a criminal defense attorney who has been representing clients charged in serious cases for over 25 years, has spoken with the media numerous times to discuss the trial of the three men charged in the murder of Ahmaud Arbery in Glynn County, Georgia.
ABC News interviewed Page regarding the various statements made by Defendants Greg McMichael, Travis McMichael, and William “Roddie” Bryan, both during and after the shooting of Mr. Arbery.
The Defendants in this case were relying heavily on a defense based on the claim that they were making a “citizen’s arrest” of Mr. Arbery when he was shot and killed. Georgia law requires that to justify a “citizen’s arrest,” a person must actually see or have knowledge that a crime is being committed or have a reasonable suspicion that a person is trying to flee a felony.
Greg McMichael made statements such as Mr. Arbery “was trapped like a rat,” “I don’t think the guy has actually stolen anything out of there, or if he did it was early in the process. But he keeps going back over and over again to this damn house,” and “Stop, or I’ll blow your f—ing head off!” Mr. Bryan said, “I figured he had done something wrong. I didn’t know for sure.”
Page notes that in the statements the Defendants made to law enforcement, “Nobody was talking about a citizen’s arrest. And I don’t mean using the magic words ‘citizen’s arrest, I mean no one’s saying, ‘We saw the guy commit a burglary and we were going to hold on to him so we could turn him over to police because he committed this crime.”
Since none of these statements really align with the Defendants’ claim that they were making a “citizen’s arrest,” Page says, “You only have a handful of defenses to deal with what is basically a confession.”