Ahmaud Arbery case update: ‘Attackers who chased and murdered black jogger’ plead not guilty to hate crime charges

THREE men charged with hate crimes for "chasing down and killing" black jogger Ahmaud Arbery pleaded not guilty as they appeared in federal court for the first time on Tuesday.

Travis McMichael, his father Gregory, and their friend William "Roddie" Bryan, 51, were each charged with one count of interference with rights and with one count of attempted kidnapping.

Travis, 35, and his father, 65, were also charged with one count each of using, carrying, and brandishing a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.

The trio appeared in front of US Magistrate Judge Benjamin Cheesbro in the Southern District of Georgia as federal prosecutors moved forward with the case.

They were informed of their charges before each told the judge that they agreed to an appointed attorney.

Each of the men in turn pleaded not guilty and is now set to remain in state custody until their next court appearance.

The first two counts allege each defendant used force and the threat of force to intimidate Arbery and interfere with his right to use a public street due to his race.

The father and son are accused of getting into a truck and chasing Arbery through the neighborhood while yelling at him after he was spotted jogging through their neighborhood.

They allegedly used their truck to cut him off while threatening him with guns.

The first count also alleges that "the offense results in Arbery's death," Judge Cheesbro said as he read the indictment on Tuesday afternoon.

In a second charge, Bruan is accused of joining the two McMichaels in chasing Arbery and used his truck to drive the jogger off-route.

Each man also faces a kidnapping charge.

Judge Cheesbro said they had allegedly "attempted to unlawfully seize and confine Arbery by chasing after him in their trucks in an attempt to restrain him, restrict his free movement, corral and detain him against his will, and prevent his escape."

The fourth and fifth counts allege that Travis discharged a Remington shotgun and his father brandished a .357 Magnum revolver during their claimed crimes against Arbery.

The 25-year-old black man was shot on February 23, 2020, after allegedly being chased by Travis and Gregory McMichael.

The Glynn County Police Department recently released footage that showed Travis with blood on his arms moments after Arbery died.

In the video, police can be heard saying that they know McMichael's dad, who is an ex-cop.

During the three-minute clip, he said: "We've had break-ins. And my gun stolen. And we caught him the other day. I saw him running, running by, and the neighbors pointed and everything. "

When the cop asked who he saw running by, Travis said "him" and gestured towards the road, where Arbery's body was lying in the street a few feet away.

"I mean, I just shot a man. Last thing I've ever wanted to do in my life," Travis could be heard saying, according to TMZ.

"I told him to 'stop, stop, stop' until he hit me," he told the officer as he paced back and forth. "There was nothing else I could do.

"I want it [the investigation] done right. It just doesn't look good," McMichael added, before again claiming Arbery "struck me a few times" in the face.

Towards the end of the video, the female cop asked a stressed-looking McMichael: "Did he [Gregory McMichael] retire about a year ago?"

"June," he replied before asking her for some water.

In the video, McMichael Sr can be heard repeatedly mentioning his police connections, which the prosecution has said was an attempt to "obstruct justice."

He told the responding officers his revolver is "Glynn County-issued" and touted his experience with law enforcement.

Prosecutors alleged that he said these things "in the hopes that this will impact what investigators were doing at the time."

The three men remain in state custody where they are facing murder charges for Arbery's death.

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