The jury was finalized Monday morning and consists of eight White jurors, three Black jurors and one Hispanic juror, according to details provided in court. Three White people and one Pacific Islander have also been selected as alternates. Opening statements began shortly after noon ET.
The three men are all charged with interference with rights and attempted kidnapping, and the McMichaels each face a weapons charge.
What we know about the evidence
Because the focus of this federal trial is different, so too is the evidence.
The video of the shooting was the key piece of evidence in the state case. For the federal trial, though, the focus will be on what prosecutors say is a series of racist statements and comments from the defendants.
He once wrote in an Instagram post unrelated to the killing that he wished someone had “blown that N-word’s head off,” and on another occasion messaged someone to say he loved his job because there “weren’t any N-words anywhere,” the agent told the court.
FBI special agent Skylar Barnes, during a recent federal hearing, outlined evidence of Travis McMichael’s racial animus, including associating African Americans with criminality, wishing crimes to be committed against African Americans and referring to Black people as monkeys, savages and N-words. US District Judge Lisa Godbey Wood cut off Barnes before he could elaborate, noting some evidence remained under seal until a jury is seated.
Bryan’s texts and social media, too, were rife with messages “that I personally found disturbing,” Dial testified in 2020. Asked by Bryan’s then-attorney, Kevin Gough, whether the language he viewed was all that uncommon in the South, Dial replied, “I will tell you, sir, that there were terms that he used that I’ve never encountered before.”
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