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Lawyers for Ahmaud Arbery defendant asked for plea deal, Arbery attorney says

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Prosecution rejects plea deal in Arbery trial
Exclusive: Defendant who filmed Arbery shooting denied last-minute plea deal in murder trial 02:43

Lawyers for one of the defendants in the trial of the killing of Ahmaud Arbery have asked prosecutors for a plea deal, Arbery family attorney Lee Merritt told CBS News. Merritt said the prosecution "turned it down — flat out."

The request came from attorneys for William "Roddie" Bryan — the man who admitted to pursuing and boxing in Arbery with his vehicle and filmed the fatal shooting in Brunswick, Georgia last year, Merritt said.

Merritt told CBS News he believes the request means Bryan is "concerned about the strength of the state's case."

Attorneys for Bryan did not respond to CBS News' requests for comment. Bryan's attorney, Kevin Gough, denied the claim to reporters later on Friday. When asked if he offered a plea agreement, Gough replied, "That's bulls*** and "denied, denied, denied." 

Bryan is on trial alongside Travis McMichael, and his father, Gregory McMichael.

"He's as culpable as the other two," Merritt said of Bryan.

Ahmaud Arbery Georgia Trial
Defendant William "Roddie" Bryan listens to court proceedings during the trial for the killing of Ahmaud Arbery at the Glynn County Courthouse on November 18, 2021, in Brunswick, Georgia. Sean Rayford/AP

All three are charged with murder and other counts for the death of Arbery, a 25-year-old Black man who was jogging in the Georgia neighborhood in February 2020, The three defendants, who are all White, have separately been charged by the Justice Department with federal hate crimes. They have pleaded not guilty and claim they were acting in self-defense.

The defense has rested its case. The judge told the jury they were free to go until Monday morning, when closing arguments are expected to begin.

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