Above video: 1,000 jury duty notices sent out for trial of men charged with Ahmaud Arbery murder
It’s a story that has gripped the nation and world: a young man chased down in a south Georgia neighborhood and fatally shot. Then, months later, a leaked video puts three men behind bars charged with murder, leading to questions about what authorities knew and when.
Ahead of the trial of Travis and Gregory McMichael and William “Roddie” Bryan, here is a full timeline surrounding the investigation into the death of Ahmaud Arbery.
Ahmaud Arbery: Map details what happened, and when, at the Satilla Shores neighborhood
Feb. 23, 2020: Ahmaud Arbery, 25, is shot three times and killed in the Satilla Shores neighborhood outside Brunswick, Georgia.
Police arrive within minutes and speak to father and son Travis and Gregory McMichael, as well as William “Roddie” Bryan, at the scene, who detail chasing Arbery and shooting him, believing him to be a neighborhood thief who had stolen from a construction site.
Glynn County District Attorney Jackie Johnson recused herself from the case since Gregory McMichael was a former longtime investigator for the DA’s office.
When Johnson steps aside from the case, it goes to Waycross Judicial Circuit District Attorney George E. Barnhill, who also recuses himself, citing a connection to one of the defendants.
No arrests are made.
May 5, 2020: A Brunswick radio station uploads footage of Arbery’s shooting to its website. It quickly goes viral and puts a national spotlight on the case.
It is later revealed that attorney Alan Tucker released the footage after it was given to him by Bryan, who shot the video.
The third prosecutor to work on the case, Atlanta district attorney Tom Durden, asks the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to look into the death.
May 6, 2020: Leaders with the Brunswick branch of the NAACP call for Glynn County Police Chief John Powell to resign over his department’s handling of the case.
GBI Director Vic Reynolds issues a video statement after the department is asked to step in and handle the death investigation.
May 7, 2020: Travis, 34, and Gregory McMichael, 64, are arrested and charged with murder and aggravated assault for Arbery’s death.
May 11, 2020: Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr names Cobb District Attorney Joyette Holmes to take over the case.
May 21, 2020: William “Roddie” Bryan, 51, who filmed the altercation that led to Arbery’s death, is arrested after authorities say he aided the McMichaels in chasing down Arbery.
Both Bryan and the McMichaels face charges of malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, false imprisonment and criminal attempt to commit a felony.
May 26, 2020: The Department of Justice says it is looking into the possibility of filing federal hate crime charges in the case.
June 3, 2020: A judge rules there is probable cause for the cases against the three defendants to move forward after a state investigator testifies Travis McMichael was seen standing over Arbery’s body and using a racial slur after the deadly shooting.
June 24, 2020: The three defendants are indicted on multiple charges.
July 17, 2020: Travis and Gregory McMichael plead not guilty to all charges. William Bryan is denied bond.
Nov. 3, 2020: Following the publicity of the investigation, Glynn County District Attorney Jackie Johnson, the first prosecutor to have the Arbery case, is unseated in a landslide election by challenger Keith Higgins, running as an independent. The Arbery case becomes a point of contention throughout the campaign.
Nov. 13, 2020: Bond is denied for the McMichaels.
December 2020: Bodycam footage is released showing the police response to Arbery’s death and interactions with all three suspects at the scene.
Feb. 23, 2021: On the one-year anniversary of Ahmaud’s death, his mother, Wanda Cooper, files a civil lawsuit against the three men charged with murder as well as more than a dozen law enforcement officers, Glynn County, former Glynn County District Attorney Jackie Johnson and Ware County District Attorney George Barnhill, alleging a conspiracy to protect those who killed her son. She seeks more than $1 million in damages.
A graveside vigil is held for Ahmaud.
March 31, 2021: Stemming from Ahmaud’s death, Georgia lawmakers give final passage to a bill to repeal the state’s citizen’s arrest law, which ends the right of people in Georgia to make an arrest if a crime is committed in the person’s presence “or within their immediate knowledge.”
Gov. Brian Kemp says he will sign the bill into law.
April 28, 2021: The McMichaels and Bryan are indicted by a federal grand jury for hate crimes and attempted kidnapping.
May 10, 2021: Joined by legislators and members of Ahmaud Arbery’s family, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signs H.B. 479 to overhaul Georgia’s antiquated citizen’s arrest statute.
“Today, I was proud to sign H.B. 479 to overhaul Georgia’s citizen’s arrest statute, while also protecting every Georgian’s sacred right to defend their person and property. After the tragic killing of Ahmaud Arbery, we knew that action was needed to ensure an antiquated, Civil-War era statute could not be used to justify rogue vigilantism in the Peach State.”
May 11, 2021: The three suspects are arraigned in federal court for hate crime charges. The McMichaels and Bryan plead not guilty.
July 20, 2021: Multiple media outlets file an objection to efforts to have the courtroom be closed for a portion of jury selection for the state murder trial.
Aug. 25, 2021: Jury selection is scheduled for Feb. 7, 2022 in the federal case against the McMichaels and Bryan.
Sept. 2, 2021: Former Glynn County District Attorney Jackie Johnson is indicted on multiple charges, including obstruction, stemming from her role in the Arbery investigation.
Sept. 8, 2021: Jackie Johnson is booked into the Glynn County Jail.
Oct. 1, 2021: Superior Court Judge Timothy Walmsley rules that Ahmaud Arbery’s mental health records cannot be used as trial evidence.
Oct. 12, 2021: Court officials confirm 1,000 jury duty notices have been sent out for the trial. A total of 600 people will report Oct. 18 and the remaining 400 will be on standby for Oct. 25, if they are needed.
Oct. 18, 2021: The state murder trial is scheduled to begin jury selection.