Ahmaud Arbery’s Family Growing Impatient With Slow Jury Selection In Accused Killers' Trial

Finding impartial jurors is hard in an area where news of the killing dominated media for weeks.

It has been more than a week since the jury selection began for the three men accused of murder in the killing of Ahmaud Arbery, but relatives of the slain Brunswick, Ga., man say they are frustrated over the slow pace of questioning.

The murder trial of Travis McMichel, his father Gregory McMichael, and their neighbor William "Roddy" Bryan, is still in the process of selecting jurors, but the process has been lengthy, and has left Arbery’s loved ones frustrated.

“I don’t know what the hold up is," Arbery's aunt, Diane Jackson, said, according to local station WTLV.  "I don’t think there’s too much they could do about the jury because everybody in the world has seen this, but it seems like it’s trying to drag on for something but they don’t know what it’s doing to the family, my brother, his mama, sisters and brothers, aunts and uncles."

The jury must be selected from a group of 64 potential jurors. To date, 42 potential jurors have qualified to advance since jury selection began on Oct. 18. According to WJXT television, attorneys for the defendants say they believe they’ll reach the 64 potential jurors needed by the end of this week.

Arbery was killed Feb. 23, 2020 when the McMichaels, suspicious that Arbery was behind several burglaries, followed him while he was jogging through the neighborhood, prosecutors say. A criminal affidavit says that In a confrontation that became physical, Travis McMichael shot him while Bryan took cellphone video. Both McMichaels and Bryan face life in prison if they are convicted.

Finding an impartial jury in the Glynn County community of 85,000 where the slaying dominated news headlines, social media feeds and talk around the area has made seating jurors more difficult.  

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Most potential jurors questioned say they have seen the video of Travis McMichael shooting Arbery three times at close range with a shotgun. Some of those potential jurors have managed to stay in the jury pool because they say they are able to keep an open mind. Many have said they have already formed opinions about the case.

According to Newsweek, some 1,000 jury summons were sent for this case.

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