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Georgia men charged with killing Ahmaud Arbery plead not guilty to murder charges

The three white men charged with the murder of a Black jogger in south Georgia pleaded not guilty Friday morning in Chatham County Superior Court, in a case that spurred a national outcry after cellphone video of the shooting appeared on the internet.

Fatal shooting of Arbery among the violent deaths of Blacks this year cited in U.S. protests

A mural of Ahmaud Arbery is seen in Brunswick, Ga., on June 4 as demonstrators gathered near the courthouse for a previous hearing for the men charged with Arbery's killing. (Sean Rayford/Getty Images)

The three white men charged with the murder of a Black jogger in south Georgia pleaded not guilty Friday morning in Chatham County Superior Court, in a case that spurred a national outcry after cellphone video of the shooting appeared on the internet.

Ahmaud Arbery, 25, who was killed on Feb. 23 just outside the coastal town of Brunswick, became a touchstone in cross-country protests over racial and social justice in the United States.

A former law enforcement officer, Gregory McMichael, 64, and his son, Travis, 34, are charged with murder and aggravated assault.

Their neighbour who took the cellphone video, William (Roddie) Bryan Jr., 50, was charged with murder and attempt to illegally detain and confine. Bryan was arrested a few weeks after the McMichaels were.

Police say Gregory McMichael saw Arbery jogging through his neighborhood outside of Brunswick and believed he looked like a burglary suspect. The elder McMichael called his son and the two armed themselves and drove after Arbery.

Bryan joined the chase in his own vehicle, police say, and took video of the incident on his phone, which appears to show the McMichaels confronting Arbery before Arbery was shot with a shotgun.

Judge Timothy Walmsley accepted the not guilty pleas and waived arraignment at the request of the defendants' lawyers.

WATCH l May 9: Father-and-son charged:

Father and son Gregory and Travis McMichael have been arrested and charged with the murder of Ahmaud Arbery. The charges came more than two months after Ahmaud Arbery, 25, was killed on a residential street in Brunswick, Ga. 3:02

Bryan's attorney, Kevin Gough, pressed for his client to be released on bond. Gough argued his client was not a flight risk and had deep ties in the community, also bringing up concerns over the possibility of Bryan being infected with the novel coronavirus in jail.

Walmsley denied the bond, saying he was concerned that Bryan posed a flight risk.

No trial date was immediately set.

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