Father, son suspects in Ahmaud Arbery killing want bond set, 2 charges dropped

By EMILY SHAPIRO, ABC News

(COBB COUNTY, Ga.) — The white father and son accused of killing Ahmaud Arbery, who was Black and was jogging down a Georgia street, are looking to have bond set and two charges dropped, according to new court documents.

Attorneys for the son, Travis McMichael, 34, called him an “excellent candidate for low bond.”

He was never charged with a crime until this case, according to court documents filed Thursday.

Travis McMichael has a 3-year-old son who lived with him every other week until his arrest, the documents said.

“Travis is an extremely devoted father who dotes” on his son, the defense attorneys wrote.

Travis McMichael has lived all of his life in the Brunswick, Georgia, area and was living with his parents at the time of his arrest, the documents said.

His attorneys said he isn’t a flight risk because he doesn’t have a passport “and most importantly, his family, including his parents and three-year-old son are here in Georgia,” the documents said.

Travis McMichael’s father and fellow defendant, former police officer Gregory McMichael, also “meets the conditions for pretrial release on reasonable bond,” his attorneys said in documents filed Thursday.

Gregory McMichael’s attorneys asked the court to set a hearing within 20 days.

Gregory and Travis McMichael were arrested in May and face charges of malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, false imprisonment and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment

A third suspect, neighbor William “Roddie” Bryan, faces the same charges as the McMichaels. Bryan’s bail was denied last month.

All three have pleaded not guilty.

Arbery was on a jog in Brunswick when he was shot and killed on Feb. 23. Prosecutors claim that 25-year-old Arbery tried to run for his life before he was struck by a car, gunned down and then called a racial slur by one of the suspects.

The three arrested told police they thought Arbery was a suspect in a series of break-ins. They were charged after video showing the deadly struggle appeared online.

The McMichaels and Bryan also want the charges of malice murder and criminal attempt to commit a felony dropped.

The malice murder count “charges two crimes in one count, making it duplicitous,” the McMichaels’ attorneys claimed. “It does so by trading on vague and uncertain allegation regarding ‘unlawfully chasing’ in pickup trucks, which inserts an unspecified separate crime from malice murder, namely, ‘unlawfully chasing [Ahmaud Arbery] through the public roadways.'”

The McMichael’s attorneys argued that the criminal attempt to commit a felony count is also duplicitous because the count “alleges both a completed crime — ‘unlawfully chase Ahmaud Arbery in pickup trucks’ and an attempted crime ‘attempt to confine and detain Ahmaud Arbery without legal authority on Burford Road using Ford F150 pickup truck and Chevy Silverado pickup truck.'”

Bryan’s attorney filed a motion Thursday looking to adopt the claims made by the McMichael’s attorneys to also get those two charges dropped.

ABC News has reached out to the Cobb County District Attorney’s office for comment.

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