Lawyers aren’t exactly lining up to take appeal case for Ahmaud Arbery’s killers


A judge has already denied a motion to have the McMichaels acquitted in the federal verdict, First Coast News reported

They were convicted of arming themselves with guns, getting into a truck, and chasing 25-year-old Arbery on Feb. 23, 2020 through the Satilla Shores neighborhood in South Georgia. They had accused him of breaking into a home under construction in the community.

During the chase, the McMichaels used their truck to cut off Arbery’s route and made armed threats against him, which Travis made good on, firing a shotgun twice into the Black former high school football standout. Bryan recorded the shooting and also used his truck to trap Arbery, all of which is spelled out in a federal indictment.

The appeal motion for Travis claims Arbery was jogging on a private street instead of a public one, and the appeal motion for Gregory indicates the government failed to show that Gregory and the others chased Arbery because of his race, according to Action News Jax.

Sheppard said in court statements WMAZ covered that the Public Defender Council elected to represent Travis McMichael because “he is the defendant among the three who had possibly the most evidence against him, and be the most difficult on appeal.” The council couldn’t represent all three defendants because of the potential conflict of interest.

Deputy Director Katherine Mason is responsible for finding private attorneys to represent Gregory McMichael and Bryan. “She is aware of these two individuals needing appointed counsel,” Sheppard said in court. “She is working to find counsel willing to take on this case, which is a larger case than a normal appeal, at the amount of funding that the GPDC has to do these types of appeals.”

Attorney Kevin Gough, who represented Bryan in the state case but not in the appeal effort, proposed that the judge “enter an order or compel a status report” to speed things up. “I think you could get a quick response out of Kate Mason by appointing  Ms. [Jessica] Burton [Gough’s co-counsel] and I at $300 an hour until such time as the GPDC gets the counsel online,” Gough said. “There are plenty of fine attorneys available in Atlanta for $1,000 a hour.

“That should get their attention,” Gough added. He said he’s sure Mason will find a solution “if the court sets a fire under her feet.”

The judge declined the suggestion, but said a resolution is expected by the next time they convene in court.