During a press conference on Friday morning, Vic Reynolds, chief of the Georgia Bureau of Investigations, said that the new team investigating the death of Ahmaud Arbery, the 25-year old Georgia man who was killed in February, obtained arrest warrants for two individuals on Thursday evening after reviewing the case for just 36 hours.
“I can tell you that based on our involvement in this case, considering the fact that we hit the ground running on Wednesday morning, and within 36 hours we had secured warrants for two individuals for felony murder, I think that speaks volumes for itself in that the probable cause was clear for our agents pretty quickly,” he said.
Reynolds said he couldn’t answer as to how other agencies proceeded with cases, but indicated that his team believes the agency involved with the case, before GBI, was conducting a thorough investigation.
“I can’t speak on what anyone else sees or doesn’t see about a case, but I will tell you that we base our decision on two things: One of facts, the other is the law,” he said. “I’m very comfortable in telling you that there’s more than sufficient probable cause in this case for felony murder.”
Prosecutor Tom Durden, who was assigned to the case in mid-April after the second prosecutor recused himself, said that he requested the GBI investigate the evidence in the case and other “matters” on Tuesday, but declined to elaborate further.
The shooting gained widespread national attention earlier this week after graphic footage of Arbery’s final moments circulated online.
The video shows Arbery running at about a jogging pace in the direction of a white pickup truck, where two armed men appear to be waiting for him. Arbery is killed during a physical confrontation that breaks out at the front of the truck.
According to GBI, the Glynn County Police Department asked them to investigate the public release of the footage on the same morning it was posted.
Former investigator Gregory McMichael, 64, and Travis McMichael, 34, his son, were arrested for felony murder and aggravated assault on Thursday evening, over two months after the shooting occurred. Gregory McMichael told police at the time of the incident that he saw a man, who he believed to be a burglary suspect, “hauling ass” down the residential street and decided to pursue him, according to a police report obtained by The New York Times.
Gregory McMichael told The Washington Post shortly before he was arrested that “there are many, many facts out there that have not come to light.”
“This is all based on the video and newspaper story. All the stuff that led up to that still hasn’t been released,” he said.
Wanda Jones, the victim’s mother, told CBS News in an interview after the footage leaked that her son was jogging at the time of his death: “He was out for his daily jog and he was hunted down like an animal and killed.”
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