As the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports, jury selection began this week in the joint trial of three men charged with murdering Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia in February of last year. The report says that jury selection is proceeding slowly because many jurors have said that they believe the defendants are guilty after seeing cellphone video of the incident that was widely publicized after the killing. Keep reading for more on this story and other news.
Arbery Trial. Travis McMichael, his father Greg McMichael, and William “Roddie” Bryan are shown on cellphone video, filmed by Bryan, pursuing Arbery in vehicles as he ran through a residential neighborhood. Upon catching up with him, Travis McMichael fatally shot Arbery with a shotgun. The case attracted national attention, in part because the defendants were not immediately arrested. Greg McMichael previously had worked as an investigator for the district attorney’s office.
Officer Killed. There was tragic news out of Knightdale this week where police officer Ryan Hayworth was killed while responding to a single-vehicle crash. Hayworth and officer Cody Hagler were investigating the crash around 2:40am when another vehicle crashed into their patrol car. Hagler was seriously injured by the collision, as were the other motorists involved. Hayworth was the son of retired Zebulon Police Chief Timothy Hayworth.
Officer Stabbed. ABC 11 reports that an Edgecombe County sheriff’s deputy was stabbed late last week while responding to a report of a man threatening a woman with a knife near Tarboro. The man is said to have charged at three responding deputies immediately upon their arrival at the scene, causing the deputies to fatally shoot him. Sheriff Cleveland Atkinson thanked EMS responders and appealed to local and state leaders to enact strategies to assist law enforcement in responding to calls involving people suffering from mental illness.
Chief Judges Appointed. North Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice Paul Newby recently appointed two new chief district court judges according to a press release from the AOC. Judge James Moore was appointed to serve as the chief district court judge for Onslow County, and Judge Erin Hicks was appointed to serve as chief district court judge for Union County.
TikTok. Wake Forest police officials told CBS 17 that an officer broke a car window and pulled a woman out of it during a traffic stop because she refused commands to exit the vehicle during an investigation of an assault allegedly perpetrated by another passenger in the vehicle. Police Chief Jeff Leonard said that the situation could have been avoided had the woman, Maria Del Carmen Rendon, not refused the investigating officer’s instructions. She was charged with RDO and video of the incident went viral on TikTok.
Attorneys Plead Guilty. The New York Times reports that two attorneys pleaded guilty to federal charges in New York this week arising from firebombing an empty police vehicle in Brooklyn in May 2020. Urooj Rahman and Colinford Mattis were participating in a protest over the death of George Floyd when they threw a Molotov cocktail into a patrol car.