BRUNSWICK, Ga. (AP) — A lawyer for the father of Ahmaud Arbery, the 25-year-old Black man fatally shot after he was pursued by three white men in Georgia, slammed comments made during closing arguments by a defense attorney who spoke of the dead man’s “dirty toenails.”
Ben Crump spoke Wednesday after a jury found the three men guilty of murder and other crimes in Arbery’s death. Crump and Arbery’s parents, their lawyers and lawyers for the prosecution spoke in front of the courthouse after the jury’s verdict.
Crump represents Marcus Arbery Sr., who was in the courtroom along with Ahmaud’s mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, when the verdict was read and cheered in reaction to the decision. Speaking about his client’s outburst after the first guilty verdict came down, Crump said Marcus Arbery could not contain his feelings and noted the “dirty toenails” comment that came earlier this week.
“He could not contain it any further because think about how long he and Wanda have been enduring all the innuendo, all the allegations, all the character assassinations — long legs or dirty toenails. Just imagine all they went through,” Crump said.
The comments that sparked outrage came Monday when Laura Hogue, a lawyer for defendant Greg McMichael, said during her closing argument that the prosecution was portraying Arbery as the victim.
“Turning Ahmaud Arbery into a victim after the choices that he made does not reflect the reality of what brought Ahmaud Arbery to Satilla Shores in his khaki shorts with no socks to cover his long, dirty toenails,” she told the jury.