One of the three men accused of murder in the killing of Ahmaud Arbery last year attempted to broker a plea deal but prosecutors shot down the effort, according to an Arbery family attorney, as the high-profile trial nears its conclusion.
Bryan is facing charges including felony murder, malice murder and false imprisonment, along with the father-and-son pair of Gregory and Travis McMichael.
Bryan has said he had “nothing to do” with Arbery’s killing, and his defense has argued at the trial that he did not act aggressively.
The district attorney’s office prosecuting the case didn’t respond to a request for comment from Forbes, nor did Kevin Gough, Bryan’s attorney.
Judge Timothy Walmsley has given the jury the day off Friday in the trial before closing arguments are set to wrap up next week. According to prosecutors, Bryan saw the McMichaels chasing Arbery through their suburban Brunswick, Georgia, neighborhood on February 23, 2020, when he decided to join in the chase. After joining in, Bryan allegedly rammed Arbery with his pickup truck and used his vehicle to trap the unarmed, 25-year-old Black man before Travis McMichael killed him with a shotgun in what defense attorneys argue was a botched, but legal, citizen’s arrest, after they mistakenly identified Arbery as a burglary suspect. Travis McMichael also claims he fired in self-defense after confronting Arbery, fearing he would have taken his gun. Prosecutors say self-defense is not possible since the three men acted as aggressors.
Gough has brought even more widespread attention to the trial after repeatedly complaining about the presence of Black pastors in the courtroom. On multiple occasions, Gough has motioned for a mistrial, saying the pastors’ presence in the courtroom makes for an unfair “atmosphere.” At one point last week, Gough said, “We don’t want any more Black pastors in here,” but later apologized for the statement. Walmsley has called Gough’s comments “reprehensible.”