Murder trial begins for 3 white men in Ahmaud Arbery's death: 5 Things podcast

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On today's episode of the 5 Things podcast: The three white men on trial for murder also face hate crime charges for the death of Arbery, a Black man, in Georgia. Plus, 17 Christian missionaries were abducted in Haiti, three people are dead after Arkansas stabbings, investigators have a ship in mind related to this month's California oil spill and tech editor Brett Molina looks at yet another Apple event.

Podcasts: True crime, in-depth interviews and more USA TODAY podcasts right here.

Hit play on the player above to hear the podcast and follow along with the transcript below. This transcript was automatically generated, and then edited for clarity in its current form. There may be some differences between the audio and the text.

Taylor Wilson:

Good morning, I'm Taylor Wilson and this is 5 Things you need to know, Monday the 18th of October, 2021. Today, the murder trial begins for those charged in the death of Ahmaud Arbery last year. Plus, the latest from Haiti where American missionaries were kidnapped, and more.

Taylor Wilson:

Here are some of the top headlines.

  1. Former president Bill Clinton is back home after days in the hospital for a sepsis infection. The 75-year-old previously faced health problems during and after his presidency, including heart problems.

  2. The Chicago Sky have won their first WNBA championship. They knocked off the Phoenix Mercury in the finals after game four yesterday.

  3. And the Atlanta Braves have jumped out to a surprising two games to none over the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League championship series. Things now shift back to Los Angeles for game three tomorrow.

Taylor Wilson:

A murder trial will begin today for the three white men charged in the death of 25-year-old Black man Ahmaud Arbery. He was shot and killed while jogging on February 23rd, 2020 in Brunswick, Georgia, a small coastal town, about 70 miles from Savannah. Greg McMichael, his son, Travis McMichael, and their neighbor Roddie Bryan are accused in the killing. Defense attorneys say the McMichaels pursued Arbery to make a citizen's arrest because they thought he was a burglar and that Travis McMichael shot him in self defense. While Bryan's lawyer says he was only a witness to the crime. But prosecutors and Arbery's family say Arbery committed no crimes and was simply jogging in the neighborhood. Public figures including Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms have condemned the killing, calling it a lynching. No arrests were made in the case for more than two months afterward until video of it was released by a Georgia attorney. The video then went viral and sparked national outrage and protests along with the police killings of George Floyd, Brianna Taylor, and other Black Americans. On the one year anniversary of the killing this past February, a memorial was held in Brunswick.

Speaker:

We are going to carry the light from on. We are going to finish the run.

Taylor Wilson:

And Ahmaud's father Marcus Arbery called his son's death a hate crime.

Marcus Arbery:

My boy been shot three times. Two times in the chest and one time in the arm and you mean tell me that ain't hate? This is a racial hate crime. It's hate. I don't care if nobody sees it. It's hate. And you don't supposed to hate nobody that bad if you want to blow them apart like that. I don't want to see these people walk the street ever again, ever, because my boy ain't going to walk the street no more.

Taylor Wilson:

The three defendants also face federal hate crime charges on top of state charges of felony murder and malice murder, two counts of aggravated assaults, and one count of false imprisonment and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment. They also face a wrongful death lawsuit from Arbery's mother Wanda Cooper Jones. Video of the shooting caught on camera by Roddie Bryan will be one of the central themes of the trial, but several key moments are missing and attorneys have offered competing narratives about what happened in the video. In the clip, a truck blocks view of the beginning of the struggle. A gunshot is heard before Arbery and Travis McMichael are seen with their hands on a weapon angled upward toward Arbery. The struggle again goes out of view and Gregory McMichael is seen in the back of the truck. A second shot is heard and the camera shifts back to the fight where Arbery is throwing punches. Finally, there's a third gun shot and Arbery falls to the ground.

Taylor Wilson:

According to an autopsy from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Arbery was shot twice in the chest and a third bullet grazed his wrist. Jury selection in the case could be complicated and take some time because the incident got such national attention. And Greg McMichael is well connected locally. He previously worked as a Glynn County police officer and as an investigator for Brunswick District Attorney Jackie Johnson. She had to recuse herself from the case because of the connection, and a grand jury indicted her last month, amid accusations that she used her position to discourage police from making arrests in the case.

Taylor Wilson:

US officials are working with authorities in Haiti after American missionaries there were abducted over the weekend. Police say a group of 12 adults and five children with a US based missionary group were snatched by the 400 Mazowo gang who are notorious for killings, kidnappings and extortion. The group was also blamed for the kidnapping of five priests and two nuns earlier this year. In addition to Americans, the Christian missionary group also includes a Canadian. Their abduction comes during a rise in similar crimes across the Western hemisphere's poorest country. Gang-related kidnappings had dropped in recent months, but are now back on the rise after the assassination of president Jovenel Moïse in July, and Haiti's latest severe earthquake in August killed more than 2,000 people. At least 328 kidnappings were reported to the Haitian national police in the first eight months of this year, compared with 234 in all of 2020.

Taylor Wilson:

Meanwhile, the National Association of Owners and Drivers of Haiti called for a nationwide strike today, pressing for more security. Taxi drivers across the country say that business is way down as Haitians increasingly choose to stay home for safety. This recent abduction comes days after US officials visited the country and pledged 15 million dollars to try and reduce gang violence.

Taylor Wilson:

Three people are dead and a police officer is recovering from surgery after a knife attack in Fort Smith, Arkansas along the Oklahoma-Arkansas line. Police officers were initially dispatched to a report of a fight with weapons. And a warning, the following details are graphic. You can skip ahead about 15 seconds if you'd like. Once at the scene, police found a 40-year-old man Christofer Connor hitting a 15-year-old boy in the face with a rock. As an officer tried placing Connor in restraints, he then pulled out a knife and sliced the officer's throat and neck. The officer then shot and killed Connor. The boy was later identified as Connor's son and died at the hospital from stab wounds and blunt force trauma. Police later also found the body of a 42-year-old named Julia Marie Moore. Investigations are ongoing.

Taylor Wilson:

Investigators now say that a 1200-foot cargo ship dragged its anchor in rough seas, pulling an underwater Southern California oil pipeline months before a leak from the line spilled oil along California's coastal waters and beaches. Investigators think the ship initially dragged the pipe more than a hundred feet, bending it, but not breaking it. What's still not clear is whether that impact caused this month's leak, or if the line was hit by something else at a later date or failed due to a preexisting problem. The Coast Guard named the Panama-registered MSC DANIT and its owner and operator as parties of interest. The operator is MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company headquartered in Switzerland, and the owner is Dordellas Finance Corporation. Some 25,000 gallons of crude oil were released in the spill, killing wildlife and forcing beach closures.

Taylor Wilson:

Well, yet another Apple event is going down today. The tech giant will hold a virtual event where it's expected to unveil a new generation of MacBooks and possibly some new AirPods. Money Tech Editor Brett Molina looks into it.

Brett Molina:

The name of the event is Unleashed, according to an invitation that was sent to the media, including us at USA TODAY. So what can we expect from this? Apple is likely going to reveal a new line of MacBook computers. According to a May report from Bloomberg, the company is planning to release models with faster processors and better connectivity to external devices. And this is going to span all Mac. So it's not just the MacBook Pro, we're looking at likely the MacBook Air seeing an update. Also some of the Mac Minis and the Mac Pros that we've seen previously. There's also rumors that Apple could unveil a new version of its AirPod wireless earbuds. The last time we saw a new version of these was I believe around 2019 when they unveiled the second generation AirPods and they introduced us to the AirPods Pro. So, we'll see. There was rumors that we were going to see this last month when Apple introduced the iPhone 13, but that didn't happen. And a lot of the rumors seem to be pointing to this month as the time where you might see them.

Brett Molina:

There is obviously history to this. If you're wondering whether MacBook seemed the most likely choice for this event, last November, Apple unveiled a new line of MacBooks that was running on its own in-house chips, which was the first time that their Macs would run on something that wasn't made by Intel since 2005. Of course, as you know, last year with the pandemic, everything got pushed up. So that September iPhone event was actually in October last year, and then their event for the MacBook and all things Mac was pushed a month to November. So in light of that, it sounds like we're most likely going to get these MacBooks. We're probably going to get an update on Mac OS and when the next version of that's going to come out. And then the really big question is, what's up with AirPods? Do we see new AirPods? Are they going to wait?

Taylor Wilson:

You can hear more about Apple and the entire world of technology from the Talking Tech podcast. And you can find us here on 5 Things, seven days a week, wherever you're listening right now. If that place happens to be Apple Podcasts, we ask for a five star rating and review if you get a chance. Thanks as always to Shannon Green and Claire Thornton for their work on the show. And I'll be back tomorrow with more from 5 Things on the USA TODAY Network.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Ahmaud Arbery murder trial, missionaries abducted in Haiti: 5 Things podcast

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