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Jury seated in Ahmaud Arbery trial

Jury seated in Ahmaud Arbery trial
Ahmaud Arbery was fatally shot on February 23, 2020, while jogging near Brunswick, Ga. File Photo courtesy the Family of Ahmaud Arbery/UPI | License Photo

Nov. 3 (UPI) -- A jury was seated Wednesday in the murder trial of three Georgia men accused in the fatal shooting of Ahmaud Arbery in February 2020.

The Glynn County Superior Court whittled down a pool of about 1,000 potential jurors over the course of nearly three weeks. Of the 12 jurors and four alternates, one was a person of color; five were men and 11 women.

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Prosecutors accused defense attorneys of racial bias and asked Judge Timothy Walmsley to reinstate eight Black potential jurors that the defense had struck from the final jury, USA Today reported.

Walmsley ruled there were valid reasons beyond race as to why the jurors were dismissed, CNN reported.

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Arbery was Black while the three men accused of killing him were White. His death fueled months of Black Lives Matter protests in 2020 along with the police killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.

The jury is expected to be sworn in Friday when opening statements are likely to begin, ABC News reported.

Greg McMichael, his son, Travis McMichael, and William "Roddie" Bryan each face charges of malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, false imprisonment and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment for the shooting death of Arbery on Feb. 23, 2020.

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Video footage from Bryan's vehicle showed Arbery's death as he was jogging through a Brunswick neighborhood less than 2 miles from his home. It shows Arbery, 25, being boxed in by two pickup trucks driven by the defendants. Travis McMichael then appears to get out of his vehicle and shoot Arbery three times with a shotgun.

The elder McMichael told police they pursued Arbery after suspecting he'd committed a series of break-ins in the neighborhood, though there hadn't been a string of break-ins reported in the area in weeks.

All three men pleaded not guilty to the charges.

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