BRUNSWICK, Ga. (AP) — The judge in the trial of three white men who chased and killed Ahmaud Arbery has declined to override decisions in jury selection that left just one Black juror on the final panel of 12.
Prosecutors had asked Superior Court Judge Timothy Walmsley on Wednesday to reinstate eight Black potential jurors.
They argued that defense lawyers struck them from the final jury because of their race.
The U.S. Supreme Court has held that it’s unconstitutional to exclude people from trial juries solely based on race.
Walmsley said he was limited in his ability to change the jury’s racial makeup as defense attorneys gave nonracial reasons for striking potential jurors.
According to CNN, Arbery's mother was shocked when she learned there would only be one Black juror.
"I mean, that was devastating," Wanda Cooper-Jones reportedly said.
Arbery was killed in 2020. Prosecutors say he was out for a jog when he chased and was gunned down.
However, defense attorneys claim their clients suspected Arbery of stealing from a nearby house. They claim Arbery was shot in an act of self-defense.
Opening statements in the trial are scheduled to begin Friday.