Prosecutors play Ahmaud Arbery suspect’s voicemail seeking DA’s help in court

Prosecutor Jesse Evans played a voice message revealing that Gregory McMichael sought advice from his former boss, a local district attorney

As the case of the shooting of Ahmaud Arbery plays out, more details involving the suspects have come to light.

A prosecutor says one of the suspects involved in the fatal shooting of the 25-year-old Black man phoned a district attorney after the late-February incident in southeast Georgia, according to CNN.

Jesse Evans, the prosecutor on the case, said Gregory McMichael, 54, called his former boss and Brunswick, Georgia district attorney Jackie Johnson after his son, Travis McMichael, pulled the trigger on Arbery during a brief confrontation. The incident was caught on tape by William “Roddie” Bryan, who was tailgating the McMichaels as they pursued a jogging Arbery in a pickup truck. The three white men have been charged for their roles in the crime.

Ahmaud Arbery
Ahmaud Arbery

A voice message of that call was played in court on Thursday.

READ MORE: Bond denied for father, son charged in Ahmaud Arbery slaying

“Jackie, this is Greg,” the older McMichael can be heard saying. “Could you call me as soon as you possibly can? My (inaudible) and I been involved in a shooting and I need some advice right away. Could you please call me, as soon as you possibly can? Thanks. Bye.”

In this image made from video, from left, father and son, Gregory and Travis McMichael, accused in the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia on Feb. 2020, listen via closed circuit tv in the Glynn County Detention center in Brunswick, Ga., on Thursday, Nov. 12, as lawyers argue for bond to be set at the Glynn County courthouse. (AP Photo/Lewis Levine)

Evans alleges that the voicemail illustrates an attempt by McMichael to use his past connections to keep him out of trouble.

READ MORE: Prosecutor reads racist messages by Ahmaud Arbery’s killer

“This evidence shows from day one there was an attempt by these defendants to influence and obstruct the investigation of this case,” Evans said.

Arbery, a Georgia resident, was shot dead on Feb. 23 while on a jog in Glynn County, Georgia. Video from the incident was not released to the public until May, which spread across social media weeks before the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis later that month shocked the conscience of the nation. The shooting of Breonna Taylor during a botched police raid on her Kentucky home added more fuel to what evolved into a summer of protests against racism and police brutality.

As previously reported by theGrio, both McMichael’s were denied bail on Friday by Superior Court Judge Timothy Walmsley. Defense attorneys contend that the McMichaels had the right to confront Arbery after suspecting him as a burglar when referring to the video footage.

“You can interpret the video in a number of different ways,” Judge Walmsley said. “But the video tells me there’s a significant risk and danger to the community.”

NBC News reports that the McMichaels and Bryan will all remain in custody on charges that include felony murder, aggravated assault and false imprisonment.

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