The attorney for William “Roddie” Bryan, one of the three defendants charged with murder and other crimes in the death of Ahmaud Arbery, is asking for a reconsideration of his client’s bail status in two recently filed motions.
In a motion filed on Dec. 31, Bryan’s attorney, Kevin Gough, claims that Bryan is suffering from “uncontrolled high blood pressure since his arrest and detention, despite the efforts of the Glynn County Detention Center to render treatment.”
The motion asserts that “sporadic checks of his blood pressure regularly reflect blood pressure in excess of 180/100” with his pressure measured at 190/100 as recently as Dec. 30.
A healthy blood pressure falls somewhere in the neighborhood of 110/70.
“Without his humanitarian release under such conditions as the court deems appropriate, Mr. Bryan’s blood pressure will remain out of control,” the motion states. “Assuming he survives long enough to have a trial, Mr. Bryan’s ability to attend, follow along and participate meaningfully in his own trial would be greatly impaired if this issue is not addressed.”
Gough filed a third motion for bond reconsideration Tuesday, the first having been filed in October. It reemphasized Bryan’s health issues, saying the defendant “has now been prescribed a sedative, or tranquilizer, in an effort to reduce his anxiety.”
The latest motion also claims that prosecutors “stretched the truth to the breaking point” at Bryan’s bond hearing in July.
In the motion, Gough challenged the prosecution’s assertion that Bryan “had no substantial ties to the community,” claiming that Bryan has lived in Glynn County “virtually his entire life.”
Bryan, along with Greg McMichael and Travis McMichael, faces charges of felony murder and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment in the shooting death of Arbery on Feb. 25, 2020, in the Satilla Shores neighborhood.
Arbery was jogging in the neighborhood when he was pursued by the McMichaels and Bryan and shot three times with a shotgun by Travis McMichael. The McMichaels later told police they suspected Arbery had committed a crime.
Bryan filmed the pursuit of Arbery.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation took over the investigation after the video’s release and arrested the McMichaels on May 7, 2020. Bryan was arrested two weeks later.
Gough’s latest motion states that Bryan was unarmed and a considerable distance from Arbery when he was shot, and had it not been for Bryan recording the encounter, that many details of the shooting would have been lost.
“Instead of acknowledging that Mr. Bryan did the right thing on the day in question, and in the days and months that followed — fully cooperating with law enforcement so that justice could be determined (whatever that may look like) — the State of Georgia continues with each passing day that he is denied bond to inflict further injustice upon him.”
At the end of his motion, Gough implied that the nation was watching to see if the defendants would receive a fair trial based on the color of their skin. Arbery was Black; Bryan and the McMichaels are White.
“The eyes of a weary nation are on Georgia, and its criminal justice system, wondering whether in this racially charged atmosphere, and political climate, a white person accused of a violent crime against a black person can still receive a fair trial in the Georgia courts,” the motion states. “The inability of Mr. Bryan even to obtain a hearing on his second motion for bond does little to encourage Mr. Bryan or his family and friends — or the community at large — that the Georgia courts are up to the challenge but time will tell.”