BRUNSWICK, Ga. (AP) — The owner of a house under construction that played a role in the fatal shooting of a black man chased down by two white men in Georgia says nothing was stolen from the house.
Gregory and Travis McMichael told police they suspected that Ahmaud Arbery was a burglar shortly before they chased him in their pickup truck in a neighborhood near Brunswick, Georgia.
But the home’s owner, Larry English, told CBS This Morning on Wednesday that nothing was taken from the house, which was only partially complete and lacked walls and doors. The McMichaels were charged with murder after a video of the Feb. 23 shooting — which showed Arbery being hit at point-blank range — sparked a nationwide outcry.
Relatives of Arbery have said he was merely jogging through the subdivision at the time.
“Even if something had have got stolen from my property and it had been Ahmaud, I wouldn’t have wanted him to have lost his life for it,” English told CBS.
English on Wednesday declined to comment to The Associated Press. He referred questions to his attorney, who did not respond to an email.
The Georgia prosecutors who first handled the case, before charges were filed, are now under investigation over their conduct.
Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr has asked the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and federal authorities to investigate how the local prosecutors handled the killing.
Justice Department spokeswoman Kerri Kupec said federal prosecutors are investigating whether hate crime charges are warranted and have asked Carr to share any results with them.
The killing has fueled a national outcry and questions about whether the slaying was racially motivated.
According to the police report, Gregory McMichael, 64, said Arbery attacked his 34-year-old son before the younger McMichael shot him.
The autopsy showed Arbery was hit by three shotgun blasts. All three shots can be heard on the video, which clearly shows the final shot hitting Arbery at point-blank range before he staggers and falls face down.
The McMichaels have been jailed since Thursday. Neither had lawyers at their first court appearances. With courts largely closed because of the coronavirus, a grand jury cannot be called to hear the case until mid-June.