Prosecutor says one of Georgia men who killed Ahmaud Arbery previously sent racist texts

Prosecutors in the case over the killing of Ahmaud Arbery earlier this year presented the court on Thursday with racist text messages and social media posts from one of the two white men who fatally shot him while he was jogging in Brunswick, Ga.

Witness Zachary Langford, a longtime friend of Travis McMichael, testified in a bond hearing that he did not believe McMichael to be a racist and that he had known him to be friendly with everyone. Prosecutor Jesse Evans questioned him about a text message McMichael sent Langford that used an anti-Black racial slur.

Langford replied that he believed the text had been in reference to a raccoon, even though the slur was accompanied by descriptors such as “crackhead” and “with gold teeth,” according to The Associated Press.


He went on to say that he did not recall a Facebook post by McMichael that used a slur for Asian people along with the word “sayonara.”

McMichael and his father Gregory pursued Arbery through their Brunswick neighborhood on Feb. 23 with a shotgun, claiming later they believed him to be a burglar.

After they confronted him, a struggle ensued and the younger McMichael fatally shot Arbery.

A third man who was present, who has also been charged in the killing, has said McMichael used a racial slur when he shot Arbery.

The McMichaels’ defense attorney has alleged Arbery was in the neighborhood for “nefarious purposes” but offered no evidence.

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Langford’s wife Ashley later testified the younger McMichael had expressed remorse over the shooting, according to the AP.


“He told me he wished it never happened like that,” she reportedly said. “He prayed for Ahmaud’s mother and his family daily.”

Arbery’s mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, said outside the courthouse that she was skeptical about the defendants’ remorse.

“I live right there in the community,” she said. “Nobody reached out to say, ‘I’m sorry for your loss.’ I don’t think they are remorseful at all.”

The McMichaels were arrested in May, more than two months after the slaying, after video of the incident attracted widespread attention.