The defense attorney representing all three men charged in the killing of Ahmaud Arbery argued this week that the treatment of one of his clients could be described as a “public lynching.”
Defense attorney Kevin Gough, who represents Travis and Greg McMichael as well as their neighbor William Bryan, attempted to ask the judge yet again for a mistrial. Gough argued that the court proceedings have been influenced by outside activists and media coverage.
Judge Timothy Walmsley denied the request, ABC news reported.
"Third parties are influencing this case," Gough said, adding that the trial has been "infected by mob violence by the left woke mob."
He said the media and public figures showing up outside the courtroom have negatively affected the trial.
"This is what a public lynching looks like in the 21st century," Gough said.
Hundreds of Black pastors gathered outside the Glenn County Courthouse this week to make a "Wall of Prayer." Many of the pastors carried signs, some of which read, "Black pastors matter."
Gough had originally motioned for a mistrial, citing the prominence of Black pastors throughout the proceedings.
"How many Black pastors does the Ahmaud Arbery family have?" Gough said to the judge, arguing that their presence put pressure on the jury.
However, Walmsley admonished the lawyer. “What we have now with individuals coming into the courtroom, I will say that is directly in response, Mr. Gough, to statements you made which I find reprehensible,” the judge said.
Arbery was shot and killed in 2020 while he was jogging. Travis McMichael said that he shot Arbery in self-defense.
Travis McMichael, his father, Greg McMichael, and Bryan followed Arbery on his jog because they thought he was breaking into multiple homes.
However, Travis McMichael said on the stand that Arbery never threatened him or showed a weapon.
"There's absolutely no evidence here that the jurors have been influenced in any way by the first and only larger crowd that came yesterday, no evidence that they even knew it was out there," prosecutor Linda Dunikoski said when Gough asked for a mistrial, according to ABC News.
The Hill has reached out to Dunikoski and Gough for comment.