A motion for mistrial in the Ahmaud Arbery case was denied after defense attorney Kevin Gough said that the trial has been “infected” by the “violence of a woke left mob.”
According to The New York Times, Kevin Gough filed, and threatened even more, motions for mistrial throughout the case, as he defended his client William Bryan, one of the three men on trial for the murder of Ahmaud Arbery, an unarmed 25-year-old Black man.
Glenn County Judge Timothy R. Walmsley denied the motion, as he had all others, after defense attorney Kevin Gough said that support for the prosecution outside the courthouse was like a “public lynching.”
Unaware of his tone-deaf word choice, Gough continued to state that the “woke mob” was influencing the case, and that “just because they haven’t put a podium up outside with a hangman’s noose it doesn’t mean that this isn’t a trial.”
Judge Timothy R. Walmsley briefly acknowledged that the “the court’s position has been accurately stated” about not having a mistrial, and that the case should remain about the fact’s at hand and not what cannot be controlled outside of the courthouse. He called Gough’s actions “reprehensible.”
Jason Sheffield, the defense attorney representing Travis McMichael, another one of men on trial, said that his comments were “asinine and ridiculous,” despite sitting right to him in court.
Prosecuting attorney Linda Dunikoski argued in court that the motions for mistrial were unfounded because they were based on activity that Kevin Gough created himself.
Earlier in the trial, Gough had asked for two prominent Black pastors, Al Sharpton and Rev. Jesse Jackson, to be removed from the courthouse, which the judge also denied.
“People are coming, and people are responding,” she said. “But they’re responding to what he did. They’re responding to what he strategically, knowingly, intelligently did, so that there would be a response, so that he could then complain of it.”
Dunikoski called it “brilliant lawyering.”
“He is very, very smart. he is very, very calculating, and he is a good lawyer,” she said. “Because on Nov. 12 he stood up in this courtroom knowing full well he was on television and made comments about Al Sharpton and then Black pastors… all knowing full well it was being broadcast on television.”
Attorney Kevin Gough is apparently known for stunts and antics in the courtroom, most notably when he went on a highly-publicized hunger strike after being fired for failing to investigate a sexual harassment claim about one of his co-workers.
“I suspect I’ll be getting–continuing to get–love letters and messages for days to come,” Gough joked to Judge Walmsley following his comment about Black pastors in the courtroom. “But be that as it may, your honor, we’re asking the court to take stronger steps to ensure the right of the defendants to a fair trial.”
Arguing self-defense, much like the recent acquittal of Kyle Rittenhouse, the defense team has hit more snags in the Ahmaud Arbery case.
Travis McMichael, one of the three men on trial, testified that Arbery never threatened them or appeared to be armed. He also acknowledged several times in his testimony that they approached him trying to make a citizen’s arrest, and that Arbery never attempted to make contact with them until they initiated him.
Gough argued in his closing arguments that his clients could claim self-defense because they were in the process of a citizen’s arrest, suspecting Arbery of a nearby burglary. The prosecution argued back that the three men had no evidence that Arbery, who minding his own business, had conducted the robbery, and that there was no way for him to understand that he was being attacked as part of some citizen’s arrest.
All three men have pleaded “not guilty,” and could each face life in prison without parole. They were also indicted on charges of federal hate crimes and attempted kidnapping.
Closing arguments wrapped on Monday, with the jury set to begin deliberations.