Attorneys representing the two men charged in the killing of 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery say their clients are being vilified in the media and that much remains unknown about what led up to the incident, CBS News reports.
Gregory and Travis McMichael, who are father and son, have beenwith aggravated assault and felony murder in the February 23 death of Arbery. Video of Arbery's final moments show him being headed off by the McMichaels' truck before Travis McMichael exits the vehicle and initiates a confrontation with Arbery. Three shots can be heard ringing out before Arbery collapses.
An attorney for 34-year-old Travis McMichael said at a news conference Thursday afternoon that the ending of the video is already known. "What we don't know is the beginning," Bob Rubin said.
"We implore all of you ... don't rush to judgment," he added.
Laura and Frank Hogue, a husband and wife criminal defense team, have been hired to represent 64-year-old Gregory McMichael.
"So often the public accepts a narrative-driven by an incomplete set of facts, one that vilifies a good person, based on a rush to judgment, which has happened in this case," Laura Hogue said in a statement Thursday.
In a statement to CBS News, Arbery's parents said that they wished the McMichaels gave their son the same benefit of the doubt.
"We agree with the attorneys for Travis McMichael that the justice system affords all citizens the presumption of innocence and that there shouldn't be a rush to judgment or stereotyping," attorneys for Arbery's parents said. "We only wish that their client, Travis McMichael, had provided that same presumption of innocence to Ahmaud Arbery before chasing and killing him."