Travis McMichael closed his conclusion as he defended himself in a murder case linked to the death of Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old black man who was chased and killed by three white men in what prosecutors call "modern crime," legal experts say.
A nearly white judge convicted McMichael of manslaughter, manslaughter, assault, false arrest and attempted crime. His father, Gregory McMichael, and his neighbor William “Roddie” Bryan were acquitted of the charges and sentenced to life in prison, including murder.
The defendants were arguing for self-defense, as well as for complying with their rights under a Georgian citizen detention law, which was legal at the time but changed after the shooting.
When the defense was sought, the burden fell on prosecutors to refute the defendants' argument without reasonable doubt.
But Travis McMichael "did not appear to be trustworthy," crime prevention lawyer Bernarda Villalona told NBC News.
“From the mouth of Travis McMichael himself, he knew that Ahmaud Arbery was unarmed; he knew that Ahmaud Arbery did not threaten him; he knew that Ahmaud Arbery had nothing in his pants, ”he said. "The only threat here was two vans chasing an unarmed African American man."
Wednesday's ruling came five days after the release of Kyle Rittenhouse, who was accused of shooting dead three men, two of whom were killed during a protest rally last year in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Rittenhouse's lawyers argued that their client was the one responsible for the accident after he was threatened with a skateboard and ran down the street when he met the men.
That argument and the testimony of Rittenhouse himself, as well as a video shoot in court showing riot on the streets, appear to support his defense.
Not so during the trial of Arbery.
"Travis McMichael has been a horrible witness," said former organization prosecutor Glenn Kirschner, a legal analyst for NBC News and MSNBC. "It is not uncommon for me to see a defendant placed in his defense team doing very badly."
At the station last week, Travis McMichael shared his version of the episode on February 23, 2020, when McMichaels and Bryan chased Arbery in their trucks after seeing him at their location outside Brunswick, Georgia.
Travis McMichael shot Arbery with a shotgun nearby. Bryan filmed a fatal incident on his cell phone. Video evidence appeared to support the prosecutor's account that it was Arbery, not the defendants, who fled for his life and fought for his life in the last days.
"While we can celebrate that justice is being done here, if it were not for the video, these men would probably have succeeded," said former organization prosecutor Cynthia Alksne, a MSNBC legal analyst. "I do not think that without this video we will be guilty."
Travis McMichael said on the day of the incident, he was trying to get his young son to sleep when his father entered the house "in a very serious condition" and said the man they did not believe was responsible for the crime in the area. recently passed.
Travis McMichael said he grabbed his gun and slammed into the driver's side of the truck. Gregory McMichael was in the passenger seat. The two men drove towards them who did not believe Arbery had fled and eventually found him.
"If you are a first-time victim, it means you have an uprising that convinces the judge that you have the right to kill someone," Kirschner said. "Travis McMichael was the first bully, the third bully, the fourth bully, and, finally, the three men anointed the judge, the judge and the murderer of a young man who did nothing but run in a part of town that apparently upset McMichaels. And Mr. Bryan."
Travis McMichael's testimony "was a disaster for him," added Kirschner. "He should have been sentenced."