Ahmaud Arbery murder suspect seeks 'humanitarian' jail release over high blood pressure

Gino Spocchia
<p>Police at the scene of Ahmaud Arbery’s death in February 2020.</p> (AP)

Police at the scene of Ahmaud Arbery’s death in February 2020.

(AP)

A suspect awaiting trail in the murder of Ahmaud Arbery has asked to be released on a humanitarian basis.

William "Roddie" Bryan Jr, who was among three men charged with the February 2020 murder of Ahmaud Arbery, asked a court to release him because he had “uncontrolled” high pressure.

The request was filed by his attorney, Kevin Grough, on 31 December, First Coast News reported.

Bryan Jr had been receiving treatment for high blood pressure while awaiting trial at the Glynn County Detention Center in Georgia, but according to Mr Grough the condition had become uncontrollable.

"He has already seen a cardiologist, and is medicated, but the sporadic checks of his blood pressure regularly reflect blood pressure in excess of 180/100," wrote Mr Gough.

"Without humanitarian release under such conditions as the court deems appropriate, Mr Bryan's blood pressure will remain out of control," he went on, and appealed for Bryan Jr’s release.

"Assuming he survives long enough to have a trial, Mr Bryan's ability to attend, follow along and participate meaningfully in his own trial would be greatly impaired if this issue is not addressed," the attorney wrote.

Bryan Jr was arrested in May last year, after he recorded a video that allegedly showed the two main suspects, Gregory and Travis McMichael, chase and fatally shoot 25 year-old Arbery, a Black man, on February 23.

Mr Arbery had been out running in Brunswick, Georgia when he was allegedly shot by the McMichaels, who were also arrested last May.

All three were charged with felony murder, and were being held without bond, while no date for the trial has not set.

On 30 December, attorneys for the McMichaels filed a request with Glynn County’s court to avoid calling Arbery a “victim” when the trial takes place, citing potential “prejudice”, CNN reported.

“Due process requires minimal injection of error or prejudice into these proceedings. Use of terms such as ‘victim’ allows focus to shift to the accused rather than remain on the proof of every element of the crimes charged,” the attorneys argued.

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