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Investigation into Ahmaud Arbery's death nearing the end, GBI director says

Christian Boone, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on

Published in News & Features

ATLANTA -- The Georgia Bureau of Investigation's probe into the fatal shooting of Ahmaud Arbery is nearing completion and will soon be turned over to the office of Cobb County District Attorney Joyette Holmes, the fourth prosecutor to inherit the case, GBI Director Vic Reynolds said Friday.

Thursday night, William "Roddie" Bryan, the Glynn County man who filmed the cellphone video of Arbery's final seconds alive, became the third person arrested in the GBI's 16-day probe. Bryan was booked into the Glynn jail and charged with felony murder and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment.

"We intended on turning over every stone in this case," Reynolds said during a news conference Friday morning. "The agents have done that."

Reynolds didn't rule out the possibility of other arrests but noted, "We feel confident that the individuals who needed to be charged have been charged."

Criminal warrants for Bryan, 50, say he used his vehicle "on multiple occasions" to "confine and detain Ahmaud Arbery without legal authority."

Kevin Gough, Bryan's attorney, told reporters Friday the arrest constitutes a "substantial expansion of criminal liability in Georgia."

 

Gough, who has maintained his client's innocence, said there is no precedent for Bryan's prosecution.

"Mr. Bryan has committed no crime, and bears no criminal responsibility for his death," Gough said. "Roddie passed a polygraph examination that effectively exonerates him of any criminal responsibility in this matter."

Atlanta criminal defense attorney Jackie Patterson, who is not involved in the Arbery case, said Gough is misreading the law.

"He's being charged as a party to a crime," Patterson said. "That's been the law since 1968. What the state is going to show is that he was not just merely present, but he was an active participant."

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