BRUNSWICK, Ga. (AP) — The shotgun blasts that hit Ahmaud Arbery punched a gaping hole in his chest and unleashed massive bleeding, according to a medical examiner who testified Tuesday at the murder trial of the three white men accused of chasing the man down.
Dr. Edmund Donoghue said Arbery was hit by two of the three shotgun blasts fired at him. He said both gunshots caused severe bleeding, and either wound could have killed the Black 25-year-old.
Jurors also saw autopsy photos that showed Arbery’s white T-shirt stained entirely red. The close-up photos of Arbery’s injuries included several large abrasions to his face from when he fell face down in the street.
Those photos are in addition to graphic crime scene pictures shown to the jury last week that showed the gunshot wounds that killed Arbery.
On Monday, tensions flared in the trial as the Rev. Jesse Jackson joined the slain Black man's parents in court.
Defense attorneys said jurors could have been tainted when they heard weeping in the gallery and saw the civil rights icon sitting with Arbery's family, so they requested that a mistrial be declared.
Superior Court Judge Timothy Walmsley denied that request and said it was “reprehensible” how a defense lawyer complained about Black pastors in the courtroom.
Father and son Greg and Travis McMichael and their neighbor, William “Roddie” Bryan, are charged with murder and other crimes in the February 23, 2020, slaying of Arbery. Defense attorneys say Travis McMichael fired in self-defense.
The trial is expected to continue at least through this week.
A cellphone video of Arbery's death deepened a national outcry over racial injustice, in addition to the killings of other Black Americans, like George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.