Travis McMichael, a craka accused of joining his daddy in a chase that ended in a Black man’s death, wants the court to ban a photo of his license plate, which included a Confederate Flag emblem, ahead of his upcoming trial in the death of Ahmaud Arbery.
Prosecutors, obviously, do not want to the photo to be banned, arguing that the state deny the motion because the plates were on the truck at the time of the shooting when Arbery was killed, Fox 5 Atlanta reports.
“Defendant Travis Michael’s choice, and the fact that this vanity plate was on the front of his pick-up truck on Feb. 23, 2020, are intrinsic evidence in this case and can be fully be used by the State to illustrate the intent and motive of Travis McMichael,” according to the motion.
The defense is pulling every trick in the book to make this a trial against Arbery. A Georgia judge ruled earlier this month that his mental health records could not be used during the upcoming trial by the defense. The ruling made clear that Arbery’s medical privacy, even though he is dead, is more important than the rights of the men—McMichael, his father Gregory McMichael and William “Roddie” Bryant—who are standing trial over his killing.
The judge also said that a registered nurse’s “highly questionable diagnosis” that Arbery suffered from mental illness during a visit to a mental health services provider in 2018 could prejudice a trial jury unfairly.
“There is no evidence that the victim was suffering from any mental health issue, or had otherwise decompensated, on February 23, 2020,” the date Arbery was killed, the judge’s ruling said.
Here is more on the story, per Fox 5 Atlanta:
Defense attorneys argue the McMichaels and Bryan committed no crimes. They say the McMichaels suspected Arbery was a burglar after he was recorded by video cameras inside a home under construction. Travis McMichael’s lawyers say he shot Arbery in self-defense.
The attorneys hoped to cast doubt on prosecutors’ contention that Arbery was an innocent jogger and to bolster their argument that the white men reasonably suspected Arbery had committed a crime when they chased him.
Prosecutors argued that defense lawyers were seeking to put Arbery on trial by making his criminal record and mental health part of the case. None of the three defendants knew Arbery, or anything about his past, prior to the shooting.
As The Root previously reported. Travis McMichael and his punk-ass daddy, Gregory, were both charged with murder last year for the shooting of Arbery, who was unarmed and jogging in his neighborhood in February 2020. Bryan, a neighbor who filmed the shooting, was also charged with murder.
Their trial is set to start Oct. 18.