A lawyer for one of the men accused of murdering Ahmaud Arbery has filed three motions since his client has been arrested, including a request to stop people from making negative comments about the accused man.
The motions were filed by attorney Kevin Gough, who represents William “Roddie” Bryan. Bryan is one of the men who was involved in the altercation that led to Arbery’s death. Authorities say he helped father-son duo George and Travis McMichael confront Arbery, who was jogging through their Brunswick, Georgia, neighborhood on Feb. 23 before being shotgunned down by the younger McMichael as Bryan videotaped the encounter. Bryan was arrested on May 21 and faces a slew of charges, including felony murder, malice murder and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment.
In a May 27 motion, Gough accused so-called representatives of Arbery’s family of making “malicious, prejudicial and inflammatory statements to the national media” about Bryan. The lawyer also accused the reps of using pejoratives to describe Bryan, including “stooge,” “devil,” “racist” and “psycho,” even though Bryan “committed no crime and has fully cooperated with” the investigators working on the Arbery case. Gough also referred to his client as a “key witness for the prosecution.
According to court documents, Gough also has an issue with metro Atlanta prosecutor Joyette Holmes, the Cobb County district attorney assigned to try the case.
“The District Attorney has expressed a desire to try this case in the courts rather than the court of public opinion, a desire shared by all the parties to this case and their counsel, but the District attorney has made no overt effort to reign in the malicious, prejudicial and inflammatory statements that continued to be put out by those purporting to speak on behalf of Ahmaud Arbery,” Gough wrote in a June 4 motion.
Gough argued Holmes’ appointment was “illegal” because Tom Durden, another DA in South Georgia, did not have a valid reason for recusing himself. Durden was the third prosecutor assigned to Arbery’s case. Gough requested Holmes be removed from the case and Durden be reinstated.
In more recent motion, Gough asserted Bryan should be released on bail because he posed no risk to the public and needs to find a job.
“Defendant is presumed innocent and yet he has already lost his job, his home, his motor vehicle and the tools of his trade that have been sold off to pay his expenses,” the court documents stated. Despite these life changes, Gough wrote in a June 24 filing, Bryan “has a place to stay and employment prospects in the event that he is released.”
“The interests of justice are consistent with affording Mr. Bryan the opportunity to put his life back together,” Gough wrote.
Bryan and the McMichaels are due in court on Friday morning, as reported by Atlanta TV station 11 Alive.