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Ahmaud Arbery should not be called a “victim,” claim lawyers for the father-son duo accused of gunning down the unarmed 25-year-old as he jogged through a Georgia neighborhood.
Attorneys for Travis and Greg McMichael, who are charged with murder in Arbery’s death, made the request in court papers filed in the Chatham County Superior Court, according to TMZ.
The McMichaels also want a judge to keep their jail calls from being used as evidence — but allow mention of Arbery’s criminal record during their trial.
The accused killers, who are white, allegedly chased Arbery, a black man, through a Georgia neighborhood in their pickup truck before Travis got out and shot Arbery at close range, authorities have said.
A neighbor, William “Roddie” Bryan, who allegedly recorded the graphic February encounter on a cellphone camera and has also been charged with murder in the case, told investigators the younger McMichael uttered the racial slur “f—ing n—–” after he fired the shotgun.
The McMichaels did not face criminal charges in the slaying until May — when video of the encounter became public and sparked national outrage.
Now the McMichaels, who are in jail without bail awaiting trial on murder charges, are worried jurors may be prejudiced against them.
In addition to nixing “victim,” only one “in life” photo of Arbery should be permitted, the McMichaels’ lawyers say in the new motions, and the image should not show him with family or friends.
They argue Arbery’s family or friends shouldn’t even be allowed to identify an image of him in court, to prevent any emotional displays from influencing jurors, according to the McMichaels’ request.
Black Lives Matter face masks should also be barred, the McMichaels’ attorneys argued.
A judge has yet to weigh in.