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Ahmaud Arbery Killers Convicted of Felony Murder, Malice Murder

Kyle Rittenhouse has been eating up the headlines, but a recent verdict in favor of the prosecution may salve any lingering misgivings about his acquittal. Three men have been charged with the murder of Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia. The men approached Arbery on the street believing that he was loitering around a home that was under construction so that he could find something to steal. The men detained Arbery under a centuries-old citizen’s arrest law that has since been repealed after furor over the Arbery case.

Travis McMichael was convicted of malice murder, which is similar to first-degree murder in Illinois. It was the strongest conviction the prosecution was able to attain. McMichael’s son was charged with felony murder as was a third man who broke the case wide open by publishing a video of the murder.

But the case almost did not make it to trial. Now, the first prosecutor who was presented with the case is facing charges of prosecutorial misconduct for her role in preventing the case from going to trial. The state’s attorney general has charged the prosecutor with prosecutorial misconduct and corruption. She recused herself from the case when it became known that she and the McMichaels knew one another. She is accused of attempting to influence the prosecution of the case in favor of the defendants.

First Arbery Prosecutor Facing Charges for Obstruction

The prosecutor is in hot water largely due to the high-profile nature of this case. The case became a huge media event because it was an apparent lynching under the color of an abused law. The case became even more interesting when the prosecutor recused herself from the case after directing police officers not to arrest Travis McMichael. Further, when it became known that Greg McMichael worked as an investigator for her office, she gave the case to another prosecutor whose son worked for the prosecutor. That second prosecutor wrote a letter to police that included an allegation that Arbery was suicidal and wanted to attack armed men. All of this went as planned until the third defendant, William “Roddie” Bryan posted the video on YouTube sparking outrage across the country. It is clear to many who watched this trial and the Derek Chauvin incident that these incidents rarely come to light if corroborating video evidence does not exist. That leaves many to wonder how many Black deaths have gone uninvestigated due to prosecutors sympathizing with defendants. 

In this case, the behind-the-scenes machinations of the law were laid bare for everyone to see. The prosecutors showed apparent favoritism to the suspects while the victim was characterized as violently suicidal by the very people who were supposed to be fighting for justice. It is not clear, however, that this constitutes a crime under the law. The prosecutor will argue that she was acting within the scope of her discretion by ordering police officers not to arrest McMichael.

Talk to a Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney

If you are facing criminal charges in the Chicago area, call David Freidberg today at (312) 560-7100 and we can begin preparing your defense immediately. 

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