Attorneys for Travis McMichael allege Ahmaud Arbery murder case isn't cut-and-dried

The team of high-profile attorneys representing one of the suspects in the deadly shooting of Ahmaud Arbery said Thursday afternoon the case is more complex than it appears.

Arbery, 25, was killed on Feb. 23 along Satilla Drive near Holmes Drive in Glynn County. His family said he was out for a Sunday afternoon jog. The incident was caught on camera.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation arrested Gregory McMichael, 64, and Travis McMichael, 34, last week for the death of Arbery. Both were charged with murder.

Seasoned Attorneys Bob Rubin and Jason Sheffield have been retained by defendant Travis McMichael. The Decatur law firm spoke for the first time publically Thursday afternoon about the case.

"No matter how you look at this case, a young man has died and that is always a tragedy. And that is at the forefront of our minds as we proceed down this road," said attorney Robert Rubin. "Our hearts go out to the Arbery family."

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Rubin admitted they know how high the emotions are running in this case and they realize the nation is watching but they said all of the facts in the case are not known. However, they did say their client is not guilty of murdering Arbery.

The attorneys said they met with special prosecutor Joyette Holmes and her team earlier that morning. They vow to uncover the truth and do a thorough, but a responsible investigation as the nation looks over their shoulder.

"Because usually, you have a district attorney's office and an investigating agency, who is doing the investigation and producing the evidence to hand over to us, in this case, the entire nation is investigating and so we are learning with the rest of the country what is going on,” said attorney Jason Sheffield.

The attorneys dodged questions about their client being a vigilante or rushing to judgment and concluding Ahmaud was a criminal. They say all of the facts will come out in due time.

"We will be presenting our evidence in a court of law whether it is in Glynn County or somewhere else, the government will have an opportunity to present its evidence in a court of law, and then, and only then, then you can judge," said Sheffield.

The attorneys said they will be asking for a bond hearing, but because of the coronavirus pandemic, they are not sure when or where that will take place. 

They also said they will be working with the attorneys for Gregory McMichael.

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S. Lee Merritt, Benjamin Crump, and L. Chris Stewart, who are representing Ahmaud Arbery's mother and father, responded in a statement sent to FOX 5 Atlanta:

"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. 

"We only wish that their client, Travis McMichael, had provided that same presumption of innocence to Ahmaud Arbery before chasing and killing him.

"The men who ambushed Ahmaud Arbery rushed to judgment on February 23.

"Mr. Arbery is the victim and his family was left with a lifetime of pain.  The family continues to pray for justice for Ahmaud."


In other news related to the case, it was revealed on Thursday the GBI now knows who wrote a handwritten note apologizing for the deadly shooting of Ahmaud Arbery died found at the scene.

The handwritten note, discovered by Jacksonville station WJXT, simply reads, "Ahmaud, I am so sorry. I should have stopped them. I am so sorry." No name is signed on the note. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation would not comment on whether they are trying to find the person who wrote it.

In a statement sent to FOX 5 Atlanta, the GBI wrote:

“The GBI has identified the individual that wrote this note. The individual is not connected to the Ahmaud Arbery murder investigation in any way. This person was expressing their condolences for Arbery’s death. We’ve received numerous tips and inquiries related to this and wanted to be sure to update the public.”

The GBI said the case remains open and under investigation. Anyone with information related to the case should contact the GBI at 1-800-597-TIPS (8477).