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Ahmaud Arbery Trial Live Coverage. Aired 9:30-10a ET

Aired November 18, 2021 - 09:30   ET



LINDA DUNIKOSKI, LEAD PROSECUTOR: You had your gun stollen, correct?


DUNIKOSKI: On January 1st, 2020.

MCMICHAEL: Yes, ma'am.

DUNIKOSKI: And you had a suspect in mind for that theft of that gun, correct?

MCMICHAEL: Yes, I -- when I had got the videos from Miss Perez Diego (ph), looking through there was a truck that came through that I haven't seen in the neighborhood before. And after looking at the truck, I thought it might have been some teenagers that I would see on that part of the county. And it turned out that it was a neighbor on the other side, and that was as far as those -- that I went with that.

DUNIKOSKI: Who's David Serals (ph)?

MCMICHAEL: I have no idea.


MCMICHAEL: Yes, ma'am.

DUNIKOSKI: He's not a Facebook friend of yours?

MCMICHAEL: Not that I believe.

DUNIKOSKI: Would it help to refresh your recollection if you looked at some of your Facebook posts that you exchanged with Mr. Serals?

MCMICHAEL: Absolutely.

DUNIKOSKI: All right. Go ahead and take a look at this.

MCMICHAEL: Thank you, ma'am.


MCMICHAEL: Thank you, ma'am.

DUNIKOSKI: Now take a look at the yellow highlighted part.

MCMICHAEL: Yes, I recognize it.

DUNIKOSKI: All right. Do you know who David Serals is?

MCMICHAEL: I do not.

DUNIKOSKI: All right.

MCMICHAEL: He must have been on the neighborhood page. I do remember the message now, and I believe -- I believe he must have saw it on the neighborhood Facebook page.

DUNIKOSKI: All right, so on January 1st, he says he's sorry about your gun being stolen out of your car, is that right?

MCMICHAEL: Yes, that's what he wrote.

DUNIKOSKI: All right, and then you indicated that you had a pretty good feeling about who stole it.

MCMICHAEL: Yes, ma'am.

DUNIKOSKI: And you found out where he lived, is that correct?


DUNIKOSKI: And you'd been watching him for several days.


DUNIKOSKI: That was not Mr. Arbery?

MCMICHAEL: No, that was the truck I was telling you about.

DUNIKOSKI: OK. And you then indicated that this may be the same individual who has been causing trouble in the neighborhood.

MCMICHAEL: Yes, ma'am.

DUNIKOSKI: OK. But that's not Mr. Arbery?

MCMICHAEL: No, ma'am.

DUNIKOSKI: So why, in your written statement, two hours after the homicide, do you put down the very first sentence, on January 1st of 2020, approximately between 9:00 and 10:30 I had my vehicle broken into and my Smith & Wesson gun stolen out of my truck?

MCMICHAEL: Because I was aware of things -- of burglaries and vehicles being broken into in the neighborhood. And then on top of seeing what I saw on the 11th, that there are things being broken into. I was under concern that Mr. Arbery could be a suspect in this, or he could not be. Ut, like I said prior, he is the one that I have seen and he is the one that has been in that house several times. So, of course, I'm thinking he's a suspect. I don't know if it was him or the other people that they've seen or I've heard of.

DUNIKOSKI: OK. So given -- you don't know who stole your gun. There was no probable cause to arrest Mr. Arbery for the theft of your handgun on January 1st, 2020?

MCMICHAEL: No, ma'am.

DUNIKOSKI: You also didn't know who had stolen the items out of the boat, Mr. Larry English's boat, did you?

MCMICHAEL: No, but I had a probability. I was thinking that the probability of who was doing that was the one that continued to go into this house, that has been caught in this house several times, which was Mr. Arbery.


DUNIKOSKI: But you had no evidence he had ever taken anything off of Mr. English's boat?

MCMICHAEL: Other than that there has been stuff stolen out of that house, and that he has been in that -- in that house several times.

DUNIKOSKI: So you have stolen items on boat, and you got that from your mom.


DUNIKOSKI: And then you got him inside the construction site, right? Inside 220?

MCMICHAEL: Yes, ma'am.

DUNIKOSKI: And at the point in time on February 23rd, you knew about October 25th?


DUNIKOSKI: November 18th?


DUNIKOSKI: And February 11th?


DUNIKOSKI: You also knew that the white couple had gone in on November 17th, right?


DUNIKOSKI: You also knew that there was a shady looking guy under the bridge, correct?

MCMICHAEL: I did. DUNIKOSKI: And you also suspected this guy in the neighborhood with

the truck being the one who stole your handgun. He might have also been someone who was stealing things in the neighborhood, as you said to Mr. Serals, right?

MCMICHAEL: For a couple days, they decided that that was not -- that was not him. That was not the person that had the truck that I thought it was a different truck. So (INAUDIBLE) -- that's not --

DUNIKOSKI: Was that Rob Way (ph)?

MCMICHAEL: I don't know who Rob Way is.

DUNIKOSKI: So Kim Ballesteros (ph) didn't tell you that she suspected Rob Way in the neighborhood as being the one who stole her purse out of her car January 30th?

MCMICHAEL: Not that I recall, no, ma'am.

DUNIKOSKI: And you're telling this jury that your mother never told you that Larry English suspected his contractors?

MCMICHAEL: No, ma'am.

DUNIKOSKI: All right, so about February 11th, I want to make sure yesterday -- yesterday when you testified, did you testify that Mr. Arbery actually came towards you and started lifting up his shirt?

MCMICHAEL: Yes, ma'am.

DUNIKOSKI: OK. But you never said that before to anyone, did you?

MCMICHAEL: I put it in the statement.

DUNIKOSKI: The statement, your handwritten statement?

MCMICHAEL: The statement -- written statement, I believe I did.

DUNIKOSKI: Can I hand you a copy of your handwritten statement?

MCMICHAEL: All right


MCMICHAEL: I was incorrect -- I said reached into his pants. (INAUDIBLE).

DUNIKOSKI: Right. So in your statement you indicated that, I was getting out of my car to ask him what he was doing --

MCMICHAEL: This was the written statement?


MCMICHAEL: Part of the -- OK.

DUNIKOSKI: And he turned toward my vehicle, and reached into his pants, which led me to think that he may have a weapon.

MCMICHAEL: Yes, ma'am.

DUNIKOSKI: Reached like that to his pants?

MCMICHAEL: No. That's --

DUNIKOSKI: And then you indicated, I immediately put my car in reverse and the individual went into the house under construction, correct?

MCMICHAEL: Yes, ma'am.

DUNIKOSKI: And that was --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The jury couldn't see the (INAUDIBLE).

DUNIKOSKI: Oh, I am --

All right, can everybody see now? OK.


And that was the publishing of state's exhibit 120, the video clip entitled Video MP4.

Is that your car pulling down?

MCMICHAEL: It is, yes, ma'am

DUNIKOSKI: Now, right here, Mr. Arbery have anything in his hands?

MCMICHAEL: Not that I could see, no, ma'am.

DUNIKOSKI: Have a backpack with him?

MCMICHAEL: He did not.

DUNIKOSKI: Any sort of bag with him?

MCMICHAEL: Not at that time, no.

DUNIKOSKI: No. He's wearing a big, long t-shirt, isn't he?


DUNIKOSKI: And shorts cut off at the knees.

MCMICHAEL: I think they were cargo shorts.

DUNIKOSKI: And he's got running shoes on.

MCMICHAEL: I can't tell.

DUNIKOSKI: You see the Nike logo swish in the reflection? MCMICHAEL: No, ma'am.

DUNIKOSKI: I'll back it up for you.

You see it then?

MCMICHAEL: No, ma'am.

DUNIKOSKI: That was state's exhibit 117 that I just published.

Now, that particular evening, you've seen the body cam video of Officer Rash, is that correct?

MCMICHAEL: Yes, ma'am.

DUNIKOSKI: And Officer Rash told you, and told your father, that Larry English said Mr. Arbery had never taken or stolen anything from the open, unsecured construction site, is that correct?

MCMICHAEL: My understanding was never seen -- saw him take anything from there, yes, ma'am. Never saw anything taken.

DUNIKOSKI: OK. And Larry English actually had never had anything stolen from the open, unsecured construction site.

MCMICHAEL: Yes, he had stuff stolen out of his boat that was inside that house, yes, ma'am.

DUNIKOSKI: But you didn't investigate that crime as a law enforcement officer, correct?

MCMICHAEL: No, ma'am.

DUNIKOSKI: Because you weren't a law enforcement, were you?

MCMICHAEL: That's correct.

DUNIKOSKI: All right. And your father wasn't a law enforcement officer either?

MCMICHAEL: He was not.

DUNIKOSKI: OK. So, you're basing your probable cause on something that was rumor that your mother told you about things being stolen off the boat?

MCMICHAEL: I was basing it on the 11th, for seeing him in there again, and hearing that the stuff was stolen off of that boat, and then hearing it from the other neighbors and then from seeing on the 11th. So, yes, it happened, and then seeing him come in multiple times and then everything that followed up on the 23rd, yes, that's --

DUNIKOSKI: You were here when Officer Rash testified, is that right?

MCMICHAEL: I was. DUNIKOSKI: OK. And you heard Officer Rash under cross examination

answer the defense attorney's question about if Mr. Larry English had filed a police report about items stolen off of his boat, correct?


DUNIKOSKI: OK. And he said the officer assigned would have investigated it, right?


DUNIKOSKI: All right. And that means interviewing Larry English, correct?


DUNIKOSKI: And so an officer who's investigating the theft of items off the boat would have found out from Larry English that the boat had been moved back and forth to Douglas, correct?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Objection, speculation, your honor. She's asking him about -- to assume what Officer Rash would have done had he been asked to make a report about thefts by Larry English and then how he would follow up on that.


This is all speculation on the witness' part.

JUDGE: Speculating an answer what Rash would have done, that's sustained.

DUNIKOSKI: I'll ask a better question, your honor.

On cross examination, do you remember Officer Rash testifying that the officer assigned, if Mr. English had filed a report, would have investigated that?


DUNIKOSKI: OK. And that Officer Rash, you heard him testify that that would have included interviewing Larry English, correct?


DUNIKOSKI: All right. And you heard Larry English testify that the boat had been moved back and forth between Douglas, correct?

MCMICHAEL: He learned that, yes.

DUNIKOSKI: Well, he didn't learn that. He knew it. He had moved the boat back and forth, right?


MCMICHAEL: Are you talking about Rash or English. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) object. I'm not sure what the relevance is about asking him what he heard people testify in court that he didn't know with his own personal knowledge on particular dates. Hearing what people later come and testify about in court is asking him to comment on the testimony before the jury. And it doesn't seem to be a relevant inquiry.

What he did, and what he knew at those particular times, I think, sure. But what they testified about in court and how that may change his thoughts about dates in the past doesn't appear to be relevant.

JUDGE: It's overruled. Go ahead.

DUNIKOSKI: OK. And you heard Larry English testify that he suspected his subcontractors, yes?


DUNIKOSKI: That Larry English suspected his subcontractors of having stolen the items off of his boat, you heard him testify to that?

MCMICHAEL: Here. Yes, ma'am.

DUNIKOSKI: OK. And you heard him testify that he told that to Officer Rash?


DUNIKOSKI: And you heard Officer Rash testify that he told that to your father?


DUNIKOSKI: All right. So, let's go ahead and talk about what was happening on February 23rd, 2020.

All right, so you first saw -- you personally first saw Ahmaud Arbery as he was running ahead of you on Burford (ph).

MCMICHAEL: That's correct.


And you were driving behind him in the white F-150 pickup truck.

MCMICHAEL: Yes, ma'am.

DUNIKOSKI: All right. And at that time, when you first saw him, he didn't have a bag, did he?

MCMICHAEL: No, ma'am.

DUNIKOSKI: Didn't have a backpack?

MCMICHAEL: He did not.

DUNIKOSKI: Didn't -- wasn't carrying a box?

MCMICHAEL: He wasn't.

DUNIKOSKI: OK. And you could see his hands as he ran?


DUNIKOSKI: OK. And you could see that he was wearing the cargo shorts and the t-shirt?

MCMICHAEL: Yes, ma'am.

DUNIKOSKI: All right. And you didn't know who he was? I mean you didn't know him personally?

MCMICHAEL: I didn't know him personally, no, ma'am.

DUNIKOSKI: OK. You didn't know his name?

MCMICHAEL: No, ma'am.

DUNIKOSKI: All right. Didn't know anything about him?


DUNIKOSKI: He didn't know you?

MCMICHAEL: Not that I'm aware of.

DUNIKOSKI: You just knew that he was the guy who was on video at the open, unsecured construction site?

MCMICHAEL: That I saw on the 11th.

DUNIKOSKI: And at this point in time, when you first see him on Burford (ph), he's not reaching into his pockets.

MCMICHAEL: Not -- no, ma'am. Not running, no, ma'am.

DUNIKOSKI: And he never yelled at you guys?

MCMICHAEL: No, ma'am.

DUNIKOSKI: Never threatened you at all?

MCMICHAEL: No, ma'am. Not --

DUNIKOSKI: Never brandished any weapons?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) he's trying to finish his answer.

MCMICHAEL: Yes, he did not threaten me verbally, no, ma'am.

DUNIKOSKI: All right.

Didn't brandish any weapons? MCMICHAEL: No ma'am.

DUNIKOSKI: Didn't pull out any guns?

MCMICHAEL: No, ma'am.

DUNIKOSKI: Didn't pull out any knife?

MCMICHAEL: No ma'am.

DUNIKOSKI: Never reach for anything, did he?


DUNIKOSKI: He just ran?

MCMICHAEL: Yes, he was just running.

DUNIKOSKI: So, at this point in time, you catch up to him on Burford by pulling up next to him, is that right?

MCMICHAEL: Yes, pulling along side, keeping with my window right there, I did.

DUNIKOSKI: So, as he's running down the street, OK, let's say this is the street, he's on this side of the road, consistent with someone driving forward, or was he on that side of the road looking at oncoming traffic?

MCMICHAEL: Oncoming traffic.



DUNIKOSKI: So he's on the side for oncoming traffic?

MCMICHAEL: That's correct.

DUNIKOSKI: All right, so you pull up next to him, is that right?


DUNIKOSKI: You startled him?


DUNIKOSKI: Are you a mind reader?

MCMICHAEL: I'm not, but I could see his actions, the way that he was -- he didn't veer, he didn't run off. I came up to him slowly, just like I would anybody else, and I've never startled anybody doing that before, anybody walking or jogging or running.


I've never had anybody become startled on that. So, I don't know why he'd be --

DUNIKOSKI: How many -- I'm sorry, I didn't mean to cut you off.

How many times have you pulled up on strangers that you don't know next to them with a pickup truck to ask them what they're doing in your neighborhood?

MCMICHAEL: I don't think I have in that situation. But I have pulled up on people that are running behind -- coming up behind them. But, I mean, if you could be startled with somebody coming up behind you, it's one thing or the other, you could tell if somebody is. But he -- I didn't startle him. I didn't -- didn't come up on him hard or fast or blowing the horn or anything. I just pulled alongside him on my side of the road right at the -- at the yellow line. And once he acknowledged me and saw that I was there is when I came a little closer and stayed with him.

DUNIKOSKI: So, he's running. You pull up. He looks at you. And you say to him, what?

MCMICHAEL: I say, hey, what's going on? Hold on a second.

DUNIKOSKI: All right. And he didn't say anything back to you?

MCMICHAEL: No, ma'am.

DUNIKOSKI: All right. He just kept running?

MCMICHAEL: He stopped and turned and went backwards. That was the -- that was the first time -- that was on the one caught on Mr. Roddie's -- or Mr. Bryan's video was the -- (INAUDIBLE) the first -- the first (INAUDIBLE).

DUNIKOSKI: OK. So, hold on. You pull up next to him. He stops. And then he turns and starts running this way, back down Burford (ph) towards (INAUDIBLE).


DUNIKOSKI: And then you back up, is that right?


DUNIKOSKI: So you back up the truck to follow him and at some point in time what do you say to him at that point?

MCMICHAEL: I'm asking -- I'm asking him, what -- what are you doing? You know, what's going on? What happened down there? Why is there somebody -- you know, asked why there's somebody pointing down the road.

As I'm talking, that's when he turns and runs back down Burford (ph).

DUNIKOSKI: So now you're asking him, hey, why is somebody pointing down the road? That's what you're asking him?

MCMICHAEL: That's what I was trying to get to, to ask him what -- why -- why there are people pointing down the road.

DUNIKOSKI: All right, Mr. McMichael, not asking for generalities and what's in your head, I want to know exactly what you were saying to the man jogging down the street. Do you understand?


DUNIKOSKI: OK. What exactly did you say to him the first time you pulled up to him?

MCMICHAEL: I want to talk to you.

DUNIKOSKI: And he turned and ran?

MCMICHAEL: He stopped, he had turned, and then -- and then went the other direction

DUNIKOSKI: OK. And that was an indication to you that he didn't want to talk to you?


DUNIKOSKI: That was an indication he was not going to stop for you?


DUNIKOSKI: OK. And at that point in time, you chose to put your truck in reverse and back up at him?

MCMICHAEL: Back up along with him.

DUNIKOSKI: So he's trying to get away from you, doesn't want to stop, doesn't want to talk, and you're backing up to go along with him?

MCMICHAEL: That's correct.

DUNIKOSKI: And at some point in time then he turns to run up Burford (ph), right?

MCMICHAEL: Yes. I asked him again -- or asked him that I wanted to talk to him. I don't know exactly what I said, but it was to the effect, I want to talk to him and what happened down the road.

DUNIKOSKI: And at this point in time you're not wearing any sort o uniform?

MCMICHAEL: No, ma'am.

DUNIKOSKI: You're not in a marked patrol car?


DUNIKOSKI: You don't have an badges on your sleeves?

MCMICHAEL: I do not. DUNIKOSKI: And when you told the police, you were talking to them about -- let me find it. Let me make sure I get this right. Do you remember telling the police, so I pull up to him and say, hey, you know, what's going on? He's running. He won't stop. I said, that's him. Stop right there, I'm at the top -- I'm at the bottom of page eight, top of page nine. Stop right there. Stop where you're at. Do you remember telling the police that that's what you said?

MCMICHAEL: That's what's on here, yes, ma'am.

Do you want me to read it?

DUNIKOSKI: I'm just asking you if that's what you said. You said, what's going on? He won't stop. I said, that's him.


Stop right there. Stop where you're at.

MCMICHAEL: Yes, that's part of it.

DUNIKOSKI: All right. So, at this point, you're ordering him to stop, is that correct?

MCMICHAEL: I wouldn't say ordering. I was asking him.

DUNIKOSKI: Like nicely and politely, please, sir, stop?

MCMICHAEL: At first it was stop, please, sir, hey, can you stop? Please, you know, yes, stop for a second. Stop for a second. My voice infliction (ph) and tone, I was trying to stay -- trying to keep the situation calm.

DUNIKOSKI: And this is at the time that he's already decided that he doesn't want anything to do with you and has runs back down Burford (ph) towards Satilla (ph).


DUNIKOSKI: All right. And then we see what happens in the (INAUDIBLE) video, is that right? Is that what happens next?

MCMICHAEL: No. Bryan, yes. Yes, round (ph) that time.

DUNIKOSKI: Let me find it.

Let's see.

What's the evidence number?


OK. I apologize, your honor. Something's not right, and I'm worried I've missed it or somehow it is not on file anymore.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Your honor, we have no objections if the state would like a recess.

DUNIKOSKI: Thank you.

Let's make sure it's on there.

So Publishing State's Exhibit 194, the first video ending in 261. Is this what we have?


DUNIKOSKI: You're backing up. And then he's running away from you?

MCMICHAEL: Yes, ma'am.

DUNIKOSKI: And then is this your truck pulling forward after him?

MCMICHAEL: It is. Yes, ma'am.

DUNIKOSKI: So at this point in time, you could have just stopped, right?

MCMICHAEL: I could have.

DUNIKOSKI: You could have just let him run, correct?

MCMICHAEL: I could have. But I also wanted to make sure that everything was OK down the road and see what was happening. I wanted to ask him, at least ask him what was happening and see what -- what he would say and go from there.

DUNIKOSKI: Despite the fact that you know about the 5th Amendment, you know that no one has to talk to anyone they don't want to talk to, right?

MCMICHAEL: That's correct.

DUNIKOSKI: All right. And you said that you wanted to know what happened and that you saw Matt Albenze out in the street when you came out with your shotgun from your house, right?

MCMICHAEL: Yes, ma'am.

DUNIKOSKI: You didn't go down and ask Mr. Albenze what was going on, did you?

MCMICHAEL: I did not.

DUNIKOSKI: OK. So, at one point in time I think you said, you thought, well maybe somebody had been hurt or something had been broken into or maybe Larry English was down there, right?

MCMICHAEL: That's correct.

DUNIKOSKI: All right. But you didn't head that way to see what exactly had happened, did you?

MCMICHAEL: I did not because Mr. Albenze was pointing down the road.


I took it as whatever happened, you need to go to that way. You need to go that way. Something has happened. I -- and then trying to ask him