Nov. 16 (UPI) -- The prosecution rested its case Tuesday against three White men charged with murder for killing Ahmaud Arbery, a Black man whose death last February in Georgia fueled protests nationwide.
A total of 23 witnesses were heard by the jury over eight days of testimony during which prosecutors sought to prove Gregory McMichael, his son Travis McMichael and their neighbor William "Roddie" Bryan Jr. killed Arbery on ill-founded assumptions that he was committing crimes in Glenn County.
The defense has argued the trio were trying to perform a citizen's arrest when they chased down and stopped the 25-year-old jogger whom they shot at three times but fatally struck twice with a shotgun in self-defense
The prosecution rested it's case Tuesday after calling four Georgia Bureau of Investigation employees to the stand, including Dr. Edmund Donoghue who had conducted Arbery's autopsy the day he died that concluded cause of death was homicide.
The doctor explained Arbery was shot twice at close range by the younger McMichael: The first grazing his wrist but hitting an artery and creating a gaping whole in his center chest, and the second hitting the left side of his chest and armpit, including his axillary vein and axillary artery, that rendered his left arm paralyzed.
The jury was shown graphic video of the incident and photos of Arbery's injuries.
Donoghue said the first shot was enough to be fatal but as none of the shot's pellets hit his heart he was able to continue struggling.
"It's fight or flight, so after you could no longer flee you might fight," he explained.
During the cross examination, the defense questioned the doctor about Arbery struggling with Travis McMicheal over the gun following the first shot, stating nothing about it prevented Arbery from grabbing the weapon and swinging fists.
"That's correct," he said.
The defense then asked what may have trigged Arbery's fight or flight response, stating that it could have been his fear of being caught.
"Well, there was a man holding a shotgun out there," he said.