A Georgia judge has decided not to grant bond on Friday to two of three men accused of gunning down Ahmaud Arbery, an African-American man whose slaying helped ignite a summer of national protests against systemic racism.
Former police officer Gregory McMichael, 64, and his son Travis McMichael, 34, must remain behind bars, according to a ruling by Chatham County Superior Court Judge Timothy Walmsley after hearing testimony and arguments on the matter Thursday and Friday.
The decision came after the father and son appeared via video conference for their bond hearing on Thursday and Friday in Glynn County court. Prosecutors argued that the father and son were driven by racism in the killing and, in court on Thursday, pointed to a number of racial slurs used by Travis McMichael prior to the shooting.
“I’m relieved they’ll stay behind bars,” Wanda Cooper-Jones, Arbery’s mother, told reporters. “Today was a good day.”
Local prosecutors had initially refused to charge the pair. But new video sparked outrage as it made clear that Arbery was unarmed and the men were the aggressors.