The Killing of Ahmaud Arbery: Defense attorney objects to 'black pastors' in courtroom

William "Roddie" Bryan’s attorney told the judge he had concerns over the appearance in court by Rev. Al Sharpton and others like him, arguing they could sway the jury.


A defense lawyer in the trial for the three men charged with Ahmaud Arbery's murder argued that Rev. Al Sharpton’s appearance in court might influence the jury.

William "Roddie" Bryan’s attorney – Kevin Gough – told the judge he had concerns over who showed up in court Wednesday.

    "If we're going to start a precedent, starting yesterday, where we're going to bring high-profile members of the African American community into the courtroom to sit with the family during the trial in the presence of the jury," Gough said, "I believe that's intimidating and it's an attempt to pressure."

    "...There’s only so many pastors they can have. And if they have Pastor Al Sharpton right now, then that’s fine. That’s it. We don’t want any more black pastors coming in here or Jesse Jackson, or whoever was in here earlier this week, sitting with the victim’s family trying to influence a jury in this case."

    "If a bunch of folks came in here dressed like Colonel Sanders with white masks, sitting in the back, that would be..." Gough continued until he was cut off by the judge.

    In the video above, other defense attorneys seem to be shocked by what Gough said.

    The judge stopped him from going on, saying he will not be making any blanket exclusions against people going into court.

    The trial shifted gears Thursday as jurors heard from Larry English for the first time.

    English is the owner of the house the McMichaels say Arbery was stealing from.

    He says people looking through the construction site was a normal occurrence.

    English says he had met both Travis and Gregory McMichael once before the shooting. And he had never told them that there was an intruder problem at his house.

    He says, after the shooting, Gregory McMichael told him he wished people would stop talking about it on social media.

    And English says nothing was taken from the house the day Arbery was shot and killed.

    When asked Thursday when the trial will conclude, defense attorney Jason Sheffield indicated the trial will continue beyond the anticipated Nov. 19 end date and closer to the Thanksgiving holiday.