I have watched some of this trial while working, enough to see that the lawyer for the defendants is an idiot!  He never should have put them on the stand!

It seems the judge agrees with me!  🙂 

Excerpts from the Article:

The judge overseeing the murder trial in the killing of Ahmaud Arbery rejected defense lawyers’ requests for a mistrial Monday and denounced as “reprehensible” one attorney’s comments objecting to Black pastors in the courtroom.

Lawyers for all three defendants in the case sought a mistrial after the judge briefly removed the jury when Arbery’s mother began to weep in the gallery. They argued that her emotional response could unfairly sway the jurors, and some took issue with the Rev. Jesse Jackson, a Black civil rights icon, joining Arbery’s family in court.

Judge Timothy Walmsley reiterated that he would not bar respectful members of the public from the gallery and voiced his strongest criticism yet of defense attorney Kevin Gough’s statements. “We don’t want any more Black pastors coming in here,” Gough said last week, calling the presence of the Rev. Al Sharpton “intimidating” to the jury in a case seen by many as a test of the justice system’s fairness to Black Americans.

Three White men who chased and shot Arbery, a 25-year-old Black man, in February 2020 are on trial after local authorities in coastal Georgia initially declined to make arrests. The prosecution has suggested that Arbery was racially profiled while jogging. Greg McMichael, his son Travis McMichael and their neighbor William “Roddie” Bryan argue they were making a legitimate “citizen’s arrest” and that Travis McMichael shot Arbery in self-defense.

As Gough objected Monday to Jackson’s presence, Walmsley said people were coming to court “directly in response, Mr. Gough, to statements you made, which I find reprehensible.”

He pointed specifically to Gough’s seeming comparison last week of Sharpton’s appearance to a hypothetical in which “a bunch of folks came in here dressed like Colonel Sanders with white masks.” Sharpton and others condemned the comments, and on Monday he announced plans to gather more than 100 Black pastors outside the Glynn County courthouse Thursday for a “wall of prayer.”

Gough had argued that in-court supporters of Arbery’s family, as well as demonstrators outside, were denying his client a fair hearing. But the judge said courts have acknowledged that emotional outbursts are not unexpected during a trial, and he noted that he quickly ordered the jury out of the room after Arbery’s mother showed emotion. He also said that jurors have denied being influenced by those outside the court, who see Arbery’s trial as a national platform to protest racism.

Arbery’s fatal shooting drew comparisons to a lynching in May 2020 as video of the shooting leaked, weeks before the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis triggered mass demonstrations against police violence and racism.

Defense lawyers argue the case is not about race and contend their clients were unfairly accused of prejudice. But race has loomed large — especially during jury selection, when defense attorneys struck all but one Black juror from the final panel over protests from the prosecution.

Gough’s repeated objections to the presence of “high-profile members of the African American community” have only highlighted the degree to which many see this case as a high-stakes matter of a racial justice.

Responding outside court, Jackson expressed concern about the racial makeup of the jury — which includes one Black man and 11 White people — and rejected the arguments that he was improperly influencing the jurors. He called Arbery the “Emmett Till of our day,” referencing the Black 14-year-old lynched in 1955.

“He is bigger than he ever was in life,” Jackson said of Arbery. “He is all over the world now.”

Sharpton said last week that Gough displayed “arrogant insensitivity” with his objections, and Arbery’s mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, called Gough’s comments “disturbing.”

“When I heard defense attorney Gough say that, it was unreal,” she said in an interview with The Washington Post. “But sitting in the courtroom day after day, the things that I hear are just unreal as well. So nothing surprises me.”

Gough offered some measure of an apology Friday “to anyone who might have inadvertently been offended.” But he said he would follow up with more context for his concerns. On Monday, he doubled down, likening Jackson’s appearance in the gallery — tightly limited due to the coronavirus — to a police officer attending the trial of a Black man accused of assaulting a member of law enforcement.

Walmsley suggested he was losing patience with Gough.

“At this point I’m not exactly sure what you’re doing,” he said, noting that he already ruled on the matter of courtroom guests. “And with all candor, I was not even aware that Reverend Jackson was in the courtroom until you started your motion.”

Attorney Jason Sheffield, who represents Travis McMichael, last week called Gough’s comments about Black pastors “asinine and ridiculous,” according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

But Sheffield and Frank Hogue, who represents Greg McMichael, joined Gough, who represents Bryan, on Monday in asking the judge to declare a mistrial.

Prosecutor Linda Dunikoski said a mistrial would be warranted only by “incurable” problems. “This was minor weeping … and the court took immediate curative action,” she said.

The McMichaels, who said they suspected Arbery of neighborhood break-ins, knew that a man later identified as Arbery had entered an under-construction home in their area on several occasions, according to testimony. But the defendants did not know about Arbery’s past arrests on Feb. 23., 2020, when they chased Arbery through their suburban neighborhood of Satilla Shores.

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