Ahmaud Arbery: Felony Murder Based on Attempted False Imprisonment: May 22, 2020

Hey folks,

The man who filmed the attack by Ahmaud Arbery on Travis McMichael, William “Roddy” Bryan, has been charged by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) with felony murder predicated on criminal attempted false imprisonment, according to various news reports.

If that sounds like a mouthful of a charge, that’s because it appears to have been tortuously constructed. Indeed, I cannot find any record in Georgia legal history, searched via LEXIS, of any case involving a charge of attempted false imprisonment, much less a case of felony murder predicated on attempted false imprisonment.

That said, attempted false imprisonment is found in the legal records of other states, including California, Missouri, Wyoming, and others, so it’s not like it’s an entirely fabricated charge—but I can find no record of it being previously used in Georgia. Also, it’s unclear to me to what extent felony false imprisonment is an appropriate predicate crime for felony murder, again I find no record of this being done in Georgia before, but it is at least discussed in the appellate records of other states.  I’ll come back to this point in a few moments.

One interpretation of this back-bending, apparent first-in-Georgia-legal-history, effort to charge Bryan with felony murder predicted on attempted false imprisonment is that the authorities have simply chosen to completely bend the knee to the outrage mob orchestrated by Benjamin Crump, Al Sharpton R. Lee Merritt, et al., and there demands to arrest and charge with murder everyone having anything whatever to do with Arbery’s death.

One might also consider the expansion of these felony murder charges to Bryan on this basis to be a kind of Public Service Announcement to Georgia residents generally, to the effect of:

“We don’t care what Georgia citizens arrest statute (§17-4-60) may permit, if you pursue a black suspect and that suspect dies in the course of that pursuit, even if as a result of his own conduct, and no matter what your claimed legal justification or the legal merits, we will charge you with murder and put you at risk of spending the rest of your life in prison, in the worst case, and certainly compel you to expend vast sums of money and reputation in order to avoid conviction, in the best case.”

As always, of course, we seek to base our legal analysis on actual law, so let’s take a look at the relevant laws applicable to this felony murder charge against Bryan.

First let’s consider Georgia’s false imprisonment law, §16-5-41, which reads in relevant part:

(a) A person commits the offense of false imprisonment when, in violation of the personal liberty of another, he arrests, confines, or detains such person without legal authority.

(b) A person convicted of the offense of false imprisonment shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than ten years.

Of course, there was no actual false imprisonment in this case, so Bryan is instead charged with a criminal attempt at false imprisonment.  Georgia’s criminal attempt law, §16-4-1, reads in its entirety:

A person commits the offense of criminal attempt when, with intent to commit a specific crime, he performs any act which constitutes a substantial step toward the commission of that crime.

In terms of the possible sentence for attempted false imprisonment, it is set at no more than one-half of the possible sentence for an actual false imprisonment, which works out to a maximum of 5 years on the attempt charge, per §16-4-6. Penalties for criminal attempt.

That said, the attempted false imprisonment is being used as the predicate for felony murder, and the penalty for felony murder, per §16-5-1, is punishable by life in prison, life in prison without possibility of parole, or even execution.

It’s also worth asking what evidentiary basis exists for this charge of attempted false imprisonment, meaning that Bryan intentionally attempted to arrest, confine or detain Ahmaud Arbery without legal justification.

In the initial police report generated after Arbery’s death (embedded below) Greg McMichaels is said to have told the officer that “[Bryan] attempted to block [Arbery] which was unsuccessful.”  That is, of course, not actually evidence of an intent on Bryan’s part to block Arbery, but merely evidence of McMichaels interpretation of Bryan’s intent.

In any case, “blocking” would seem to be a different matter than “arresting,” “confining,” or “detaining” someone, particularly in the open area in which Arbery was running.

Further, it must also be noted that false imprisonment, or more accurately in this case attempted false imprisonment, occurs only when the arrest, confinement, or detention is without legal authority—but that legal authority might well be provided by §17-4-60. Grounds for arrest, which provides in its entirety that:

A private person may arrest an offender if the offense is committed in his presence or within his immediate knowledge. If the offense is a felony and the offender is escaping or attempting to escape, a private person may arrest him upon reasonable and probable grounds of suspicion.

I haven’t time today to thoroughly review the actual evidence available on Bryan’s conduct that would support either the charge of attempted false imprisonment, on the one hand, or the justification of citizens arrest, on the other, but I expect folks in the comments will jump in to link such evidence as exists, which I’ll review over the weekend for further analysis.

It’s also unclear if the law of attempt is appropriate under the facts of this case.  Attempt is a well-established area of the law, and generally has two elements:  one is an intent to commit an unlawful act, and the other is an overt act in furtherance of that underlying unlawful act.

An example would be some who breaks a car window in order to steal property inside the vehicle, who gets frightened away before the theft can be consummated.   He had the intent to commit the crime of theft, and the breaking of the car window was an overt act in furtherance of that underlying crime of theft, so we have attempted theft.

That said, it is normally the case that the overt act be something that is itself unlawful.  I’ve done a quick search for examples of criminal attempts in which the overt act was itself lawful, and I’m difficulty finding any.  If it is required that the overt act necessary for attempt be itself unlawful, Bryan’s following (normally not unlawful) or “blocking” (if true, but also normally not unlawful) of Ahmed would need to have been done for unlawful purpose in order for the attempt charge to stick.

Finally, it’s also unclear if the doctrine of felony murder is properly applied to an underlying felony of attempted false imprisonment.  Although not stated in the felony murder statute, and I haven’t had time to do a thorough review on this issue of Georgia case law, the doctrine of felony murder typically requires that the underlying felony have a reasonably foreseeable danger to life.  That is, not just any felony will do.

To illustrate this point, under Georgia §16-9-20. Deposit account fraud the passing of a bad check in excess of $1,500 is a felony.  If that check is passed to a recipient who has a fatal anaphylactic shock reaction the ink used in printing the shock, we technically meet the literal conditions of Georgia’s felony murder statutory language under §16-5-1:  “(c) A person commits the offense of murder when, in the commission of a felony, he or she causes the death of another human being irrespective of malice.”

Such a death would not typically be considered to be a reasonably foreseeable risk of passing a bad check, however, and thus the felony passing of a bad check would not typically be an appropriate underlying crime for a felony murder charge.

It is, of course, much easier to imagine an attempt at an arrest requiring the use of physical force, and for that physical force to escalate to a deadly force level, and for death to occur as a result—but it’s not at all as clearly foreseeable as a death that occurs in the course of, say, an armed robbery.  This is particular the case if the person seeking to make the arrest is accompanying men he knows to be armed.  It is unclear to me whether Bryan was aware that the McMichaels were armed during his pursuit and filming of Arbery, however.

In any case, that’s all I have on this matter for the moment, so until next time, remember:

You carry a gun so you’re hard to kill.

Know the law so you’re hard to convict!

Stay safe!


Attorney Andrew F. Branca
Law of Self Defense LLC
Platinum Protection Program

P.S. Here’s that initial police report immediately following Arbery’s death:

105 thoughts on “Ahmaud Arbery: Felony Murder Based on Attempted False Imprisonment: May 22, 2020”

  1. Pingback: PINNED: Ahmaud Arbery Files – Law of Self Defense

    1. What would he testify to that would help the prosecution meet its burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that Travis committed a simple assault under section 16-5-20 (a) (1)?

  2. It would seem that there couldn’t be a charge of false imprisonment without the use of force or the threat of force, and from that it would seem to follow that there could not be a charge of attempted false imprisonment absent force or the threat of force or at least an attempt to use force.

    Are there any other force-requiring crimes where an attempt can be charged in the absence of any attempt to use force? Someone might be guilty of attempted murder if they pull a trigger on somebody and the round fails to fire. They TRIED to use force.

    Fraud can be an equivalent of force: trick someone into killing himself by walking off a disguised precipice or trick him into shooting himself with what he thinks is an unloaded gun, but there is no fraud in the Arbery-McMichael case.

    In the absence of any attempt to use of force it would seem that a simple defense is available. Can’t the McMichaels’ and Roddy Bryan simply explain that they had no intent to use force to detain Arbery but were only trying to maintain surveillance of him until police arrive, both by asking him stop and by continuing to place themselves where they could continue to ask him to stop, with no intent at any point to physically restrain him?

    This does seem to be what they were doing. Unless they issued verbal threats to use force then their actual non-forceful actions would seem to constitute a preponderance of evidence in favor of any claim they make that they did not intend to use force, providing much more than a reasonable doubt against the proposition that they WERE intending to use force.

    That makes the charge a miscarriage of justice. Of course politicized prosecutors don’t care about that. They just want to pull that miscarriage off, probably by trying to muddy the distinction between what it might be reasonable for Arbery to have perceived about the neighborhood men’s intentions and the evidence about their actual intentions.

    It might have been reasonable for Arbery to interpret that the men intended to use force against him. I would challenge that. I think they had already demonstrated, by not using force against him in the first two encounters, that they were not intending on attacking him or using force against him. But jurors certainly could be sympathetic to the idea that Arbery thought he was about to get shot.

    The reasonableness of that perception by Arbery bears no relation to the reasonable doubt standard for guilt applied to the question of whether the McMichaels actually did intend to use force against Arbery, a proposition for which there is very little evidence, but I wouldn’t put it past prosecutors to try to confuse the jury on this matter.

    “If the glove does not fit you must acquit,” when everyone who grew up with winter knows full well that a soaked leather glove that is allowed to dry will absolutely NOT fit.

    I can see it now: “If it was reasonable for Auhmad Arbery to cast aside doubt then you must too. They put him in that situation and must be held responsible for it!”

    Would I make a good demagogue or what?

    1. I don’t think a use of physical force is necessary. I think a simple intent to detain Arbery, without legal justification, until the police could arrive to take custody of him, and a substantial step toward accomplishing that goal is all that is required.

    2. Only Roddie Bryan is charged with attempted false imprisonment, iirc. According to their arrest warrants the qualifying felony charge was assault for TM and something like enabling the illegal discharge of a firearm for GM, iirc.

      So, the question is whether attempting to block Arbery with his car, as described by GM in his statement to the police or otherwise, constituted an attempt to “in violation of the personal liberty of another… arrest[], confine[], or detain[] such person without legal authority.” Attempt to confine works for me, but there might be contrary case law, I suppose.

  3. IMHO the cop’s report of what McMichael’s said to him about Roddy’s unsuccessful intention to block Arbery, is inadmissible hearsay. The Cop HEARD McM SAY something, which McM did not swear to nor sign. Moreover, how would McM know what Roddy was trying to do unless there were a conspiracy in advance, for which there seems no evidence. So far as I know, Roddy did not park his truck sideways across both lanes or get out of the truck. Neither have I heard that he had a gun. Neither is there any evidence that he spoke to Arbery of which I have heard. To slap somebody in jail this way without bail to me smacks of a lynching. Roddy’s lawyer indicated he is petitioning for a speedy trial & may wave the Grand Jury, which is a big goof IMHO, as the GJ of white Glynn County may vote NO BILL. (This takes only 5 votes out of 16.) Chatham County (Savannah) has about 40 percent black, & Savannah itself is one of the largest majority black cities in the USA, hanging jury territory. I don’t think they can change-venue on Grand Jury in GA. I don’t know if the judge (who majored in Environmental Studies) has to hold the trial in Glynn County or can just get a jury from Savannah (without formal change of venue). The Judge apparently is up for election in 2022 in Chatham County. A solid black vote could put him out of office. BTW, videos have now appeared on YT showing a NO TRESPASSING SIGN on Mr. English’s home, & it is confirmed that English reported theft from his property. 3 Videos by Channel Summerlin Monroe, along with his written comments are very educative on Mr. English & his vacant house. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ii9WE_vT1WQ

    1. The police report says that the officer who prepared it had his bodycam on. I can’t see why anything Greg McMichael said about what he saw William “Roddie” Bryan do would be hearsay. As to whether there was a “conspiracy”, that is something I wouldn’t assume did not exist merely because the police report is silent on the subject, any more than I would assume GM did not see the trespass because the report omitted to say so.

      Yes, Larry English lied on the Chris Cuomo show when he answered a question about what he had reported on previous occasions saying that the cameras had alerted him to trespassers https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KBw6C6SHalE&t=265 when in fact he reported thefts. I guess he’s more scared than neighborly.

      In FLA Corey could indict by way of an information, skipping the Grand Jury. Not in GA?

      Do we have an address for Arbery?

      1. You say “I can’t see why anything Greg McMichael said about what he saw William “Roddie” Bryan do would be hearsay.” IT IS HEARSAY, unless Greg McM testifies to what Roddy was trying to do. Greg McM did not testify at all. Testimony by Greg would not be hearsay (made under oath). And so far as we know, Greg had no basis for knowing what Roddy was TRYING to do. All we have is what a cop says that he said (hearsay). If Greg had signed a statement, that would not be hearsay. What the cop report is is what the cop is saying, & he is saying what he heard somebody say. The cop is not a witness to what Roddy did. Now what Greg says about himself, is admissible hearsay, like a confession about oneself.

          1. That is incorrect. Out of court statements offered for their truth are textbook inadmissible hearsay.

  4. The Roddy Video: At first I thought it made highly probably from that video that Arbery suddenly turned left & attacked a stationary Travis. But on a closer look, I now see that at one point Travis is about 1 yard to left of his truck, but later we see him slightly in front of the left side of the truck, indicating that at some point he moved from left to right. The actual frame that shows him in front of left side (of truck) appears to me to be a shot of him taking a step backward (to left), stretching one foot back so that he appears to lean to the right, his head appearing beside the rear view mirror. The camera gets off target a while & the truck blocks the view quite a bit. So it seems debatable as to when Travis moved to right. If he moved with a gun in his hand towards Arbery, that seems bad for him. Did Arbery see him moving right as he got in front of the truck, so then Arbery thought he had to take that gun before he got shot in the back? Or did Travis move right before Arbery got in front of the truck on the right & then did Travis stop? Then did Arbery see him & charge a stationary Travis? The only actual movement I see by Travis is moving back & away from Arbery (to left), though we must infer that at some point he did move to the right.

    1. It’s of no import that Travis moved from the driver’s door to in front of the left headlight. And with Arbery charging at him he is entitled to prepare to defend himself, from either direction, provided he had not forfeited his right to self defense. There is no question that they wanted Arbery to stick around for questioning by the police, a perfectly legal reason to demand he stop.

    2. Holding a firearm in your hands in Georgia is not an assault unless you are holding it in the traditional firing position and pointing it at the person. A person may honestly fear for his life simply because you are armed, but his fear is considered irrational. That’s a Georgia Supreme Court opinion. There are also at least three United States Supreme Court cases where the defendants were holding rifles or shotguns and they were not deemed to be an aggressor or a threat. If Arbery was scared of the shotgun, there is no evidence of that since he completely ignored it and charged Travis.

        1. 1gandydancer. I hadn’t seen that one. Travis will definitely need to claim justification, but he will probably need to claim justified use of reasonable force in making a lawful arrest, especially since he did point the shotgun at Arbery before there was an overt act on the part of Arbery to attack him. And it is always nice if your story in court matches the story given to the investigating officers by yourself or others.

          1. I would say Arbery dunning directly at Travis at that point was absolutely an overt threat to Travis. How close did Arbery have to get before you would consider it to be one, if two or two+ car lengths isn’t close enough? And in what way are you asserting that there is a discrepancy between the fact that Travis pointed his gun at that point and any story allegedly told to investigators?

          2. @DNPIERCY (this software doesn’t allow me to reply to YOU): Thanks for the link, but, no, it does not document Arbery threatening Travis with a weapon.

  5. I find I was probably mistaken above on the NO TRESPASSING SIGN, as the YouTube channel master told me that the photo of Mr. English’ house with the No Trespassing sign was a recent photo (probably ~May, 2020, not back when Arbery was visiting that house). So I still don’t know for sure if there was a NT sign when Arbery was visiting.

      1. I have done a lot of listening & reading. Mr. English did say that a guy was trespassing. BUT, I have been unable (though I have done a lot of looking) to find evidence that English had a sign (except for May), neither have I found any proof that English SAID he had a sign. I searched Google intitle:arbery intitle:”no trespassing,” & got no results. So if you have proof of a NO TRESPASSING sign, please post it.

  6. Correct me if I am wrong, but it seems to me that a trial jury could not be shown an unredacted copy of the Police Report, which was based on Gregory McMichael’s statements to a policeman. IMHO the things McM says about Roddy & about Travis are hearsay & inadmissible; thus if the cop reports that McM said his son Travis shot Arbery, that would not be admissible. What McM says about himself, is admissible hearsay, like a confession. Otherwise, the state could use the cop statement vs the theory that Arbery fired the shotgun by pulling on it when Travis’ finger was on the trigger (Bump Stock firing). I suppose the defense could put on an expert demonstration of Bump Stock firing (made famous by Stephen Paddock).

      1. I can’t see that Body cam makes a difference. What Greg McMichaels said is hearsay unless it is under oath & signed by McMichaels, with the exception of a confession about himself. For the Bodycam did not record Roddy doing anything during the pursuit. If it had recorded the pursuit, it would not be hearsay. I would like to hear from an attorney on this. Cop heard McM SAY something; Bodycam hears McM say something (hearsay). An actual witness to Roddy is somebody who saw Roddy do something or heard Roddy say something.

  7. Let’s not make this over-complicated. This is all about getting Bryan to throw the McMichaels under the bus. Do the math. The evidence against Bryan looks weak. But as Andrew said, you have a 10% chance of being convicted regardless of the evidence, perhaps more than that because of the racially charged nature of the case. Your life is going to be in the hands of 12 not-so-randomly selected knuckleheads. A prosecutor says, hey, I can remove that 10% chance that you will live in a cage the rest of your life, maybe even come away from this without spending every penny you and your family possess or can borrow, just testify against your buddies, the McMichaels, about what they said and did. It’s also nothing unusual: a routine strategy of prosecutors over-charging on the crime to instill fear and elicit cooperation.

    1. That assumes he ever had a conversation with the McMichaels, which is not in evidence. And if the McMichaels did nothing illegal then what has Roddie to give up?

      1. Under these circumstances, the prosecution will put the screws to Bryan to come up with something. As Andrew pointed out, you have a 10% chance of being wrongly convicted despite the evidence, and all other things being equal, perhaps 3 or 4 times those odds in a racially charged case such as this. That’s got to be pretty frightening to Bryan when the stakes are basically his life.

        1. It turns out that Bryan didn’t even know it was the McMichaels who were chasing AA. So all he can testify to is what he saw them do, all of which seems to have been legal IMHO.

    2. I wonder if by charging all 3 the prosecution leaves itself without a witness to the alleged crime of doing some crime that led to the confrontation at the pickup truck.

      1. The prosecution doesn’t consider Bryan to be a neutral witness. It’s not like he was just a neighbor out walking his dog and witnessed the altercation. So, he’s basically a hostile witness in any case, and there is really no legal down-side that I can see for the prosecution putting the pinch on Bryan to testify against the McMichaels.

  8. The only case I have been able to locate in the entire country where felony murder has been coupled with attempted false imprisonment is the unpublished case People v. Nguyen (Cal. Ct. App., Nov. 14, 2002, No. C028892) 2002 WL 31521536.

  9. I suspect that, until any of us see the whole dash-cam video; we are guessing quite a bit here. My understanding is the video of this is about 4 minutes long total. How much has anyone seen in the public domain? What does the audio portion have during that 4 minutes? Talk about out-of-context. A few seconds out of the entirety of the video. Let’s not rush to judgement.

  10. StercusEnFuego

    I recall reading or hearing (can’t remember where) that Mr. Bryan said he regretted taking the video of the incident. If he did say that, I have no doubt the prosecution will use that as “consciousness of guilt” or “spontaneous confession” (however legally specious) or some other evidence against him either in a trial or to strong arm him into a plea or confession. That said, this seems like an almost frivolous charge.

    1. I think that the Roddy case would make many people reluctant to take a video of a crime (shoot the messenger). However, for me the video that Roddy took helps me to think that Arbery attacked Travis when he did not have to.

      1. It sounds like Bryan had the option of just destroying the video in the first place, but for some reason, thought it might be beneficial to hang onto it and release it. The lesson for criminal defendants (actual or potential) to learn here is, if you release a video to the public to help your case, you should have a good sense of how it will play out in the media. Regardless of how supportive it is of the factual side of your case, you may still lose control of the narrative, even to the point where the video is twisted into damning evidence against you in the kangaroo court of public opinion. Of course he regrets releasing it.

      2. It exonerates all three defendants, so he should be very glad he took it. The only mistake was releasing it when GM’s lawyer friend did so, and without helpful commentary edited into it.

  11. Benjamin Crump and Lee Merritt are telling CBS News that the US Attorney has decided to charge the McMichael’s and Bryan with hate crimes.

    “Attorneys for Arbery’s family said the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia Bobby Christine and his office will look into why Glynn County and the state of Georgia took more than two months to make an arrest and whether the region has historically violated the rights of its citizens. The U.S. Attorney said he plans to file criminal and civil charges.”

    1. The U.S. Attorney is investigating why it took two months to file charges. He may find the reason to be lack of probable cause for criminal charges in the case and a violation of the McMichael’s civil rights by the State of Georgia in arresting them to appease a lynch mob and stop the imminent riots.

      1. If they attack the Glynn County cops & prosecutors for having the opinion that no crime happened, & if the Feds go after them on civil rights, I think they are promoting the antipathy of the Glynn County citizens, who will then be more likely to vote NO BILL in Grand Jury

  12. Bryan or “Roddy” can testify to what happened on Burford between the McMichaels and Arbery (guns points or revealed etc.). Second, Roddy can testify if Travis pointed the shotgun at Arbery (now the McMichaels have to prove Travis did it in justifiable self defense versus did he even raise the gun).

    Now that Roddy is charged, can he be witness to these items?

    But, the prosecution may need Roddy to force Arbery to the McMichaels to negate self defense/stand your ground. If the prosecution proves that the stationary McMichaels worked with Roddy to force Arbery to them, does this coordination result in no right of self defense as the aggressor (even if stationary)? Do they still have to prove they forced Arbery to attack with the intent to cause Arbery harm?

    If Roddy is proven innocent, does that change anything for the McMichaels?

      1. b) A person is not justified in using force under the circumstances specified in subsection (a) of this Code section if he:

        (1) Initially provokes the use of force against himself with the intent to use such force as an excuse to inflict bodily harm upon the assailant; (ergo – you picked the fight or escalated it on purpose).

        (2) Is attempting to commit, committing, or fleeing after the commission or attempted commission of a felony; or

        (3) Was the aggressor or was engaged in a combat by agreement unless he withdraws from the encounter and effectively communicates to such other person his intent to do so and the other, notwithstanding, continues or threatens to continue the use of unlawful force.

        1. The prosecution has to prove that Travis committed aggravated assault, in some jurisdictions would be referred to as assault with a deadly weapon. That’s the predicate violent felony for the felony murder charge, so everything hangs on that aggravated assault charge. To do that, I think that the prosecution would definitely have to show that Travis was the initial aggressor. If Arbery was the initial aggressor, then it looks more like a case of self-defense. We will see how that goes.

          1. A non-aggressor can be barred from claiming the defense of self defense even if the aggressor attacks him with unlawful deadly force and it is immediately necessary for him to use force to keep from getting killed. I don’t know what Georgia case law is on provocation or on commission of a forcible felony, but either one can barr you from raising the defense of justified self defense in Georgia.

        1. If Bryan takes a plea deal and becomes a cooperating witness for the prosecution, he doesn’t have to worry about self-incrimination at that point. I could be wrong, but my expectation is that the prosecution will take their time and run Bryan through the ringer for a while to make him sweat and soften him up. They will also want to be sure that they need or want his testimony before they offer him anything.

          1. * wringer

            Old tub washers had crank-driven rollers on the top to squeeze excess water out of clothes before hanging them on the line: The wringer.

    1. It seems to me that by charging Roddy, they promote the probability that he will not testify vs the McMichaels as he stands to incriminate himself with such testimony. How the prosecution could get testimony out of him (aside from granting immunity & agreeing not to prosecute) would be something for an expert attorney to let us know.

      I don’t know how Roddy can testify about gun points as he was in another pickup truck & not able to see most of what the McM did in their truck. I don’t see that Travis would be holding a shotgun out his truck window while driving. & I wud think Greg wud have the sense to keep his .357 in holster. I don’t know that Roddy could see much beside what his camera recorded as Arbery made final approach & got into the mayhem with Travis. I doubt that Arbery would have begun a charge towards the shotgun if it were pointed at him.

      I don’t know what the law is in Georgia. If you claim the burden of proof is on the defendant, please post proof of that one. My guess is that after the Glynn County Grand Jury sees that video in which Arbery dies, they will vote NO BILL.

      I don’t know how “stand your ground” would apply if Arbery suddenly charged Travis at a distance of 6 feet; how could anybody make a decision to run or be successful at running away?

      Travis was not completely stationary from the death video. The lacuna in the video decreases our knowledge, but we see Travis about a yard to left of truck, then we see him in front of left side of truck, head beside the outside mirror, then one foot behind him to left, as if he were stretching a foot left to move back away from Arbery. NYT analysis claimed it shows leaning to right. I think experts might argue on it.

      I think they will argue that the McM & Roddy had illegally confined Arbery, based on the cop report which claims McM spoke of cutting off Arbery w/ a hearsay report that McM said Roddy was trying to block him. Some a point of contention would be whether the McM were attempting to confine Arbery or merely confront him & speak with him. It is clear that they did not confine Arbery. & we don’t see Travis dart to the right to block Arbery as he moves ahead of the truck on the right side.

      I don’t think any jury would buy the theory that the McM were manipulating the situation to make Arbery attack so they would kill him when he did. I think there must be a Grand Jury True Bill before any trial. But if they got true bills, & chose to try Roddy first, then I think they could make him testify vs the McM if he had anything negative to testify to. The prosecutress would not want to start asking Roddy questions on the stand if she did not know what he would say (unless she is low in the brain dept.) I think the prosecutress would have a hard time proving a conspiracy to confine Arbery unless such happened. & I think Roddy already gave them a statement (backed by lie detector) that he did not speak to the McM that day before the chase, tho I would have to see the exact wording. – IMHO

  13. Local news is reporting preliminary hearings may happen next week.

    Defense attorneys for Gregory McMichael, 64, his son Travis McMichael, 34, and 50-year-old William “Roddy” Bryan filed motions Tuesday requesting preliminary probable cause hearings, Glynn County Magistrate Deputy Clerk Luetrice Lott said.

    No date has been set for the hearings, Lott said.

    All three men are charged in the murder of Arbery and remain in the Glynn County Detention Center without bond.

    The Glynn County Courthouse discontinued criminal court hearings last month until June 13 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, magistrate court staff is working this week to prepare to open the courtroom sooner with video screens, Lott said.

    Defendants would appear from the Glynn County Detention Center via video screens in the courtroom.

    Magistrate court proceedings could begin as early as next week, Lott said.

    1. I don’t know how Preliminary Hearing works in GA. If they mean a perfunctory Probable Cause hearing, I think that usually is a farce & rubber stamp. I saw one of these in another state where there was only 1 witness for the prosecution, a police detective who was not a witness, just a reciter of hearsay. I didn’t know that such kangaroo hearing was possible.

      I can’t see how they would postpone a hearing or Grand Jury meeting on McM for COVID, if that means he sits in jail. I would think that they would be obligated at least to free him from jail if there were such a delay. & I don’t think that COVID allows any exception to the Right to a Speedy Trial, which Roddy’s lawyer said he was or would be demanding. I would think that if COVID prevented a Speedy Trial, that would force a permanent dismissal. I think I saw an early June schedule for a preliminary hearing. (Of course what I would think based on the concept of fairness, can be quite different from our legal games.)

      1. IIRC, that prelim was forced on FLA by a Federal Appeals Court decision, but there was no enforcement to make sure it was not a rubber stamp, so it was.

  14. I guess the State could file the same charges against the McMichaels. No defense of self defense to this charge for Bryan or the McMichaels. Seems like their might be a number of other defenses though.

    1. BID O, what leads you to believe that the McM would be denied the right to put on a defense based on self-defense? The other defense, mentioned by our sponsor Andrew, is accidental shooting. Thus far to me there is reasonable doubt that Travis fired the gun, as a pull on a shotgun by Arbery might have caused the gun to fire if Travis finger was over the trigger. The 3 shots could have been bump stock firing with Arbery continuing to fight to get the gun (we see him still fighting after 3 shots!). There are videos of bump stock firing on YouTube. With bump stock, the idea is that the finger is stationary, & the gun is pulled causing trigger clicks. Such firing can be something like 1/2 the speed of full automatic operation if done skillfully.

      1. Gumboocho, I got a notification of your comment by e-mail and I tried to reply to it there. I don’t really know how this site works so I don’t know if you got the answer. Basically, I said the Georgia self defense statute doesn’t allow you to claim self defense when you are the aggressor, the provoker, or attempting to commit a felony. When you are attempting to make a false arrest, a homicide resulting from that felony cannot be justified under the self defense statute, and of course it would not be justified under the citizens arrest statute either.

        As for accident, it is no defense to a charge of felony murder predicated on an attempted false arrest because it is not a defense to a charge of false arrest.

        The defenses that Andrew was talking about are the legal defenses to a charge of felony murder predicated on aggravated assault. And they are defenses to the charge of felony murder because they are legal defenses to an aggravated assault charge.

        If the prosecutor drops the charge of felony murder predicated on aggravated assault and replaces it with the charge of felony murder predicated on attempted false arrest, those legal defenses go away because they are not legal defenses to an attempted false arrest charge.

        1. Aggressor of what? That is like saying right to choose, without saying right to choose what? It is obvious that if you mean that the McM aggressively tried to reach Arbery & question him, that is truem, but irrelevant & no crime. The question is, were the McM aggressors in starting a fight. I see no proof of that one. As it appears that Arbery charged Travis, not vice versa. Arbery was past the truck & turned. From the evidence I have seen, there is no basis for calling McM aggressors to a fight. If Arbery charged Travis & grabbed the gun, he seems to be the aggressor, leaving Travis no choice but to resist. & we don’t even see Travis hit Arbery. It seems most probable that the struggle for the gun began with Arbery grabbing the gun.

          Did you read the sponsor or listen to him? There appears to be no evidence of a Citizen’s arrest attempted. I see no evidence of a felony by the McM. I see nothing that meets the definition of an arrest at all, nor of an attempt at it. Sponsor says to forget the Citizen’s Arrest issue, as it is irrelevant. It is true that DA prosecutor of Glynn County thought it was relevant. As I heard Andrew, there were 2 choices for defense: 1) self-defense, & 2) accidental shooting.
          I see no evidence of any assault by the McM. I see no pointing of a gun before the altercation, nor of threatening with a gun. Do you have such proof?
          When Arbery ran to right of truck, Travis did not dart to right to block him.
          I think when a Grand Jury meets, they will be more concerned about intuitive self-defense than about Legal mumbo jumbo over the technical wording of statues. Also, they may be more concerned about what is actually murder in the English language, rather than abstruse reasoning to make what was not murder, “murder” based on alleged attempt at confinement. Common sense murder involves premeditation & malice. It seems quite likely that the McM had no intention of shooting Arbery that day & that Arbery’s action caused it; Arbery may even have shot himself. (Bump stock)

          1. Gumboocho. Greg McMichael is said to have told the investigating officers that they were making a citizens arrest and there is other evidence to indicate that is what they were doing. So far I haven’t seen any evidence to the contrary. As for Travis McMichael, I think he is correctly keeping his mouth shut even if his father isn’t.

            The evidence of assault by Travis McMichael is a gun in his hands, three shots, and a dead body. That is all the evidence the prosecutor needs unless Travis can justify pointing the gun at Arbery and intentionally pulling the trigger, or unless Travis can justify taking the safety off and then convince the jury he had three accidental discharges, and that will be really hard to do if it turns out to be a pump shotgun.

            The worst thing a person can do in a self defense case involving the use of a firearm is claim that the shooting was accidental, and that is because self defense law doesn’t justify unintentional uses of force and unintentional discharge of a firearm and injury of another is considered criminal negligence. You were negligent in having the safety off, negligent in having your finger inside the trigger guard, and criminally negligent in pointing a loaded gun in that condition at another person.

            I know Andrew said something early on about thinking citizens arrest was not an issue in this case. At the time he said that he may not have known that Greg McMichael had already told the police that they were, in fact, attempting to make a citizens arrest and he may not have known that the police also have other evidence of citizens arrest. Because an unlawful attempt to make a citizens arrest is a felony, and a person in the process of attempting to commit a felony is barred from claiming self defense, citizens arrest is going to be the most important issue in this case. The McMichaels are going to have to justify their attempt to make a citizens arrest and they are going to have to justify arresting Arbery by killing him. I don’t think either one of them are going to be very hard to do unless their attorneys are incompetent.

          2. @Bog O: Whether they intended a citizen’s arrest is neither here nor there if they never reached the point of attempting a citizen’s arrest, which it is Branca’s contention that they never did if all they did was ride into his path and demand that he stop. Which, so far as I know, is all they did until AA’s imminent attack caused Travis to raise his gun. That is, I guess, that there is no arrest attempt unless they declare it or begin the use of force. No, Arbery running into Bryan’s truck will not do, IMHO.

            That “Travis McMichael [had] a gun in his hands, three shots [occurred], and a dead body [resulted]” is not evidence of assault if the shooting was justified self defense. The prosecution has to argue that the felony assault happened before Arberry attacked.

            And, no, the McMichaels don’t have to justify attempting to arrest AA by killing him because that is not what they did.

    2. It’s pretty obvious that the prosecution will argue it was not self-defense because they are claiming that Travis committed aggravated assault. He lacks the element of innocence if he is the aggressor. The key question here is what constitutes “aggression” on the part of Travis. As Andrew pointed out, if they find evidence of racism on social media or some such from Travis, he’s toast, regardless of all that. Otherwise, I expect that the prosecution is going to argue that simply chasing Arbery while openly carrying firearms is sufficient to constitute aggravated assault. We all here may find that wrong from a technical legal standpoint, but that’s a judgment call, and the prosecution is going to be trying to give the jury. that they hope will vehemently dislike the McMichaels, anything to hang their hat on to justify conviction.

      1. “Roddy” may testify that Travis pointed a gun while Arbery was running to the McMichaels. The McMichaels will have to justify to the jury that the pointing was in selfdefense.

        The prosecution will state that Roddy working with the McMicheals forced Arbery to run in their direction, that Travis raising of the gun, Felony Assault, forced Arbery to attack to defend his-self.

        The big question to me is how did the McMicheals truck end up facing away from Arbery. Did both the McMicheals and Roddy drive around the block with the MCMicheals going first then later followed by Roddy? This would look like a possible entrapment.

        I think they all 3 get convicted if Roddy is proven to be working with the McMicheals to trap Arbery without a legal citizens arrest. If not working together, they all go free.

        1. You speculate that “Roddy” may testify that Travis pointed a gun while Arbery was running to the McMichaels. If that is so, then I think the McM are toast. Is there anyway the prosecutress could force Roddy to testify, as his lawyer has probably told him to say nothing. I think that Roddy may have already submitted a statement under oath that he had not spoken with the McMichaels that day before the chase. And I know of no evidence that Travis raised the shotgun. If he did & they can prove it, I think Travis is toast.

          My guess is that the McM followed Arbery, shouted at him to stop, Arbery kept on running, then the McM drove ahead & then parked. I don’t know how prosecutress can prove any movements as long as all 3 remain silent. Neighbors may be witnesses though. Arbery was never entrapped so far as I have seen evidence. The McM did not entrap him (unless one of them pointed a gun & threatened Arbery), as he ran past on the right side, & apparently Travis did not dart right to block him. I can’t see that ARbery would have charged Travis had the shotgun been pointed at him.

          the sponsor thinks citizen’s arrest is irrelevant, tho a DA prosecutor thought it was.

        2. Travis raised his gun to point at Arbery just before Arbery veered right away from his path jogging directly at Travis. See the blow-up of the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iGf7JIlG3oc&t=585

          I think that if Travis still retained a right to self-defense at that point that’s not a problem. The right to prepare your gun to fire at an apparent attacker arises well before that “attacker” reaches you.

          As a matter of fact, I think Arbery WAS jogging. He had committed criminal trespass, but wasn’t particularly aware that he had committed a crime. Two honkies had tried to stop him, and he’d blown them off, and he was about to blow them off again when Travis, seeing a different film in his head, raised the gun. Then Arbery veered right, started imagining the KKK killing him for jogging while black, and made a very unfortunate decision.

          1. 1. The surveillance video from across the street from English’s house proves Arbery was NOT jogging.

            2. Criminal trespass only occurs OUTSIDE of a structure. Once Arbery ENTERED the structure it became first degree felony burglary. (read the trespass and burglary statutes).

            3. Looks like you need to head back to the drawing board.

          2. That video is so grainy and hard to see. When you say Travis raised the gun, do you mean the video shows that he aimed it at Arbery? Or did he just raise it higher across his chest? If I were a juror looking at this, my main concern would be whether Travis pointed the barrel at Arbery in a manner that could reasonably be interpreted as an assault, but not how he otherwise handled the weapon.

          3. Attorney Andrew Branca

            Excellent questions, David R.


            Attorney Andrew F. Branca
            Law of Self Defense LLC

          4. What is your proof of trespass? Have you found a prior picture of the house with a NT sign on it? I haven’t been able to find that.

          5. Attorney Andrew Branca

            Anyone asking about trespass, per § 16-7-21. Criminal trespass, and who therefore thinks that absence of a no trespass sign (if such absence is a fact) is relevant in the Arbery case isn’t even asking the right question.

            Arbery was not pursued because he was suspected of trespass under § 16-7-21, which does require notice against trespass.

            Arbery was pursued because was suspected of felony burglary, under § 16-7-1, which merely requires unlawful entry for the purpose of theft, and does NOT require notice against trespass.


            Attorney Andrew F. Branca
            Law of Self Defense LLC

          6. @DNPiercy: The arrogance of your ignorance is showing. No, entering the structure is NOT the difference between criminal trespass and burglary. Before advising someone else to read the statutes you should first do it yourself.

            No, the surveillance video from across the street does NOT remotely prove that Arbery was not out for a jog.

          7. @David R: This reminds me of claims that James Fields Jr drove rapidly down the street at Charlottesville and then panicked and ran into the crowd only because his Charger was struck with a sign at the very last instant. OF COURSE Travis pointed the shotgun at AA and I have no problem seeing that at all. The only plausible defense is that it was justified for him to do so.

            Which it was, IMHO. Don’t discredit any other arguments you might make by pretending that the ridiculous is plausible.

          8. @Branca: Any way you can upgrade your software so that I could have replied directly to you?

            Anyway, it doesn’t matter whether the McMichaels THOUGHT that what gave them the authority to arrest was reasonable suspicion of a burglary any more than whether GM described that reasonable suspicion as a “hunch”. It only matters that what they knew gave them the authority to arrest. If their suspicion of a felony is deemed inadequate, but Travis’ immediate knowledge of, say, the previous criminal trespass on Feb 11, gave them the authority to arrest, then even if they were wrong about what gave them their authority to arrest was they still possessed it.

      2. David R The prosecution cannot argue that simply chasing Arbery while openly carrying firearms is sufficient to constitute aggravated assault because aggravated assault is an offense defined by statute. All essential elements of the offense must be present before there is an offense. Openly carrying firearms and chasing someone are not essential elements of the offense of aggravated assault.

        As for the aggressor, Blackstone said the aggressor was the first person to throw a blow. It is important to note that Blackstone said “to throw a blow.” He did not say the first person to “land a blow.” So, in modern day self defense law the aggressor is generally held to be the first person to attempt to use, or use, physical force on the present occasion.

          1. Gumboocho. The US Supreme Court cites Blackstone in its opinions about 12 time a year. State Supreme Courts and Appeals Courts cite him quite often. Georgia’s current statutes provide that they are to be considered a codification of the old English law and construed accordingly. Here in Missouri our statutes provide that the Statutes of the King of England, the Acts of the English Parliament, and the Common Law of England shall be the rule of law and decision in the Missouri Courts, any custom or usage to the contrary notwithstanding. Our Code, like Georgia’s Code, is considered to be a codification of English law and any ambiguity in the Code is settled on the basis of the English Law in force and effect in the year 1607. Understanding what the English law was in 1607 really helps you understand what the law is today. The Georgia self defense law is a codification of the English law of justified use of force in prevention of crime and the English law of excusable homicide in self defense crammed together in one statute, with the English distinction between a justified homicide in prevention of crime and an excusable homicide in self defense being eliminated. Lawyers that don’t care what Blackstone said tend to lose a lot of cases.

        1. I’m not trying to make that argument myself. I’m just saying that the prosecution will make that argument. I don’t see what there is to stop them. Remember the Zimmerman trial where the prosecution relentlessly spouted angry nonsense against Zimmerman, and just about every ruling the judge made was slanted in favor of the prosecution. I guarantee that, even if the prosecution doesn’t have specific evidence that Travis raised his gun in a manner constituting aggravated assault, the prosecution is going to have free reign to describe all of this in the most inflammatory terms possible. Like: These 2 white racists formed an armed vigilante posy and chased down this innocent black man just out for a nice jog, menaced him with their guns, and put him in fear for his life, upon which he bravely confronted the menacing shotgun wielding Travis McMichael in a desperate attempt to save his life. Especially if they flip Bryan and his testimony just pours gasoline on that bonfire. If the prosecution doesn’t make this kind of argument in court, I would be amazed. If they did, and the judge sustained an objection to it, I would be even more amazed. My prediction on this is that these guys are probably toast.

          1. Unless the prosecution is somehow given free rein to pick the jury I predict an acquittal, maybe a full Zimmerman. The video shows self-defense and the argument that TM had no right to defend himself is ridiculous.

      3. That the McM were racist seems improbable based on daughter/sister dating black guys & her testimony that her father was nice to the black guys. But even if they were racist, that does not prove they were the aggressors on this occasion. I doubt that a Glynn County Grand Jury will buy that argument. Openly carrying firearms? During the chase, it seems unlikely that Travis was showing his shotgun while driving the truck. & I have seen no evidence but that Gregory had his pistol holstered & not visible both inside the truck & in the truck bed. As a trained cop, would Gregory get out the gun from the holster without possible need to shoot it? You need witnesses who saw them make visible their guns & act threatening with them, like pointing them at Arbery.

        I doubt that the Glynn County Grand Jury is going to vehemently dislike the McM. If it gets through the Grand Jury & into a black Savannah jury pool, that is another matter.

  15. Looks like Roody Bryan has filed for a gag order against Benjamin Crump, Lee Merritt, and Shaun King.

    “Attorneys for William “Roddie” Bryan filed motions to make sure Arbery’s family and his representatives are not speaking badly about him. The motion also asks the district attorney and GBI to keep track of all contact they have with the family to ensure Bryan gets a fair trial.”

    1. Have the attorneys for Roddy filed motions to make sure that the mob in Atlanta marching today doesn’t speak bad about Roddy? Atlanta seems still interested in Arbery, though George Floyd has upstaged him.

  16. It is said above by Big O: “the evidence of assault by Travis McMichael is a gun in his hands, three shots, and a dead body. ” None of those things is evidence of an assault prior to the alleged self-defense. One can have a gun in one’s hands, perfectly legal in GA. (cf. Lester Maddox years ago). The non-witness giving hearsay at the Probably Cause hearing claimed Travis was pointing the shotgun as Arbery was running towards the truck. Tavis could say, he pointed the gun because Arbery was charging him. I am inclined to think it a rather thin excuse if Travis pointed the gun too soon (while Arbery was too far away). I don’t think the safety is significant. It is not negligence to have safety off or even to have a gun with no safety. It is not negligence to point & shoot a gun in self-defense. It did turn out to be a pump; so I agree that 3 accidentals is hardly possible. A remington 870.

    So you think they can make a case for citizen’s arrest. I am surprised you would think that. I don’t think either McMichaels ever said, “You are under arrest.” Neither did they succeed in confining Arbery. I think there is a good chance that the Grand Jury votes no bill when they see the video of Arbery charging Travis, regardless of legalistic mumbo jumbo.

    1. I’ve linked above to a video showing when Travis raised the shotgun, and it was when AA was within a truck length or two of his reaching the back of the truck. At the prelim Dial was misleading about this in his one mention of “pointing” that I found, looking at the transcript. (He said, approximately, that “Travis got out of the truck and pointed his shotgun at Arbery” which leaves out the considerable interval between those two events. He also said TM told AA to get on the ground, but failed to say when that happened. If it was BEFORE TM raised his shotgun as justified deterrence to AA’s attack then we have an attempted arrest.)

  17. In the early part of the encounter when Arbery was jogging toward the rear of the truck and Travis got out and was looking back with the shotgun in his hands, I do not see that he is clearly pointing it at Arbery in a threatening manner. And by that, I mean I don’t see Travis raise the shotgun to his shoulder and sight it at Arbery in a clear indication that he intends to shoot him. It’s not sufficient for me to infer that Travis deployed the weapon with the intention to shoot Arbery if he is just carrying it as he stands by the door of the truck and the barrel happens to point in Arbery’s direction haphazardly, and again, I don’t even see that. From what I can see, It seems pretty doubtful that he intended to shoot at Arbery at that point.

    But I’m only speaking for myself and what I can see in the video. I’m not pretending that I don’t see something that is clearly there. I actually do not see evidence of aggravated assault in that video. That’s why I mentioned it in the context of how I would view it as a juror. If that grainy unclear video was all the evidence there was that Travis pointed the shotgun at Arbery in an intentionally threatening manner sufficient to constitute aggravated assault, my response would be, no, I don’t see that in the video. And as a juror, I would not just take the word of the prosecution or one of their expert witnesses that it’s there on the video despite the fact I can’t see it. Of course, at trial, they may be able to clean it up better using high-end equipment and advanced video processing techniques. That will be interesting to see, assuming that particular moment in the encounter is the one that the prosecution focuses on as evidence of aggravated assault.

    1. In the still frame video it looked to me like Travis raised the shotgun to a firing position and pointed it at Arbery. Travis could testify that he apprehended immediately receiving a violent injury from Arbery and he threatened the use of force in self defense to protect himself from such injury. The video of him raising the shotgun would be evidence of his apprehension of such violent injury. This would also be evidence that Arbery was the initial aggressor, that Arbery committed a simple assault on Travis under 16-5-20 (a) (2). Travis’s lowering of the shotgun and not shooting when Arbery broke off the charge and made his false retreat to the right to gain a tactical advantage is evidence that Travis had no intention of shooting him unless he made it immediately necessary for self defense. This simple assault by Arbery at the rear of the truck would also give both Travis and Greg fresh grounds for citizens arrest.

      1. Well… AA is not on trial, so whether he actually committed an assault on TM is neither here nor there, Had he kept running in the direction he was going in after veering to the right of the McMichael truck there would be no way to conclude that an assault had occurred. I simply reject the idea that AA running in the direction of TM, as seen on the cellphone video, would be tenable grounds for a CA, though I do argue that it made TM’s pointing the shotgun legal.

        “initial aggressor” is also neither here nor there. Reasonable apprehension of unlawful force must be redetermined when AA veers towards TM, not earlier.

        I see no evidence on the video that TM at any point lowered the shotgun.

        Nor that AA’s veer to the right was a “false retreat”. Perhaps if TM HAD lowered the shotgun AA would just have kept running, angled right. Perhaps if TM had never pointed the shotgun AA would simply have run to TM’s left.

        1. !Gandydancer. You are right about Arbery not being on trial, but whether or not he committed a simple assault on Travis before Travis assaulted him would determine whether or not Travis’s assault on him was in justified self defense.

          1. No he isn’t. If Travis raises the defense of self defense, which of course he will, then every action and decision taken by Arbery will be at issue and hyper scrutinized. So yes, he absolutely is on trial.

        2. Yes he is. If Travis raises the defense of self defense, which of course he will, then every action and decision taken by Arbery will be at issue and hyper scrutinized. So yes, he absolutely is on trial.

  18. Did somebody on here say that the shotgun Travis used was a Remington 870? If it’s a pump shotgun, I would surely not argue accident. Maybe the 1st shot could be accidental, but certainly not the 2nd and 3rd shots. It takes deliberate effort to pump and fire rounds out of that thing. I’m wondering whether the prosecution might even concede that the 1st or perhaps the 2nd shot were self-defense, but that it was clear Arbery, having been hit by two 12-gauge shotgun blasts at close range, was no longer a threat at the point the 3rd round was fired.

    After thinking about all of this, I am getting the impression that Travis choosing a shotgun as his weapon is problematic in a lot of ways. With a pistol, it is holstered and not deployed, and when it is taken out of the holster, it is reasonable to infer that it is being deployed. When carrying a long-gun around, that distinction is not so clear. Unless you are careful, the barrel can be pointed every which way as it is being carried. Had Travis been carrying a holstered pistol, and Arbery rushed him and tried to grab it, and Travis deployed (drew) it only in response to being attacked by Arbery, there would likely be no aggravated assault charge, or at least, a much weaker claim of assault. Not to mention, a 12-gauge shotgun is an exceedingly powerful weapon, which may be viewed negatively as overkill by a jury.

    1. AA was still fighting for the shotgun after two shots, one of them only a graze, so neither the third shot nor the shotgun was overkill. Without that stopping power TM might well have lost his weapon and been killed. Accidental firing was always an absurd theory.

    2. The distinction on when a long gun is being deployed under Georgia is clear, having been determined by the Georgia Supreme Court. The long gun must be held in the traditional firing position and pointed at a person before it is considered as being displayed in a threatening manner. But you are right in a sense, juries are more likely to find a use of deadly force justified if you are using grandpa’s old .32 Special that hasn’t been cleaned or fired in 30 years than if you are using your scary black AR-15 with an engraving on the muzzle that says: “Smile and Wait for Flash.”

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