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Jury breaks after first day of deliberations in Ahmaud Arbery case

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Jury breaks after first day of deliberations in Ahmaud Arbery case
Ahmaud Arbery's parents, Marcus Arbery Sr. (L) and Wanda Cooper, stand outside the courthouse after a June hearing for the three White men accused in the shooting death of their son in Brunswick, Ga. File Photo by Erik S. Lesser/EPA-EFE

Nov. 23 (UPI) -- The jury broke after 6 hours of deliberations Tuesday in the racially charged trial of three men accused of killing Ahmaud Arbery on a street in Brunswick, Ga.

The jurors were expected to reconvene at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday for a second round of deliberations.

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Prosecutors finished closing arguments Tuesday morning, days after another high-profile trial ended in acquittal when a jury found Kyle Rittenhouse not guilty of shooting three men, killing two, during a Black Lives Matter protest in Wisconsin.

In Georgia, prosecutor Linda Dunikoski urged the 12-member jury to convict Travis McMichael, his father, Greg McMichael, and neighbor William "Roddie" Bryan, who are all charged with murder for Arbery's Feb. 23, 2020, death.

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Her arguments come a day after one of the defense lawyers called for a mistrial in front of the jury, which was denied by Judge Timothy Walmsley.

Arbery was jogging through the Satilla Shores neighborhood before he was shot. All three White men testified they believed at the time that he may have been responsible for break-ins in the area and attempted to make a citizen's arrest. They chased the 25-year-old before cornering him with pickup trucks. Travis McMichael delivered the fatal shot.

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Dunikoski has consistently argued that Arbery was targeted "because he was a Black man running down the street."

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The jury is made up of 11 White people and one Black person and its composition has been widely criticized.

More than 26% of the 85,000 residents in Glynn County, where the trial is taking place, are Black, while about 69% are White, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

All three men face one count each of felony murder and malice murder, two counts of aggravated assault, one count of false imprisonment and one count of criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment. They face life imprisonment if convicted.

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