William “Roddie” Bryan, one of the three men charged with murdering Ahmaud Arbery, is seeking a humanitarian release from jail while awaiting trial because his blood pressure is high.
Bryan’s attorney Kevin Gough filed a request for a hearing on the matter in Glynn County Superior Court in Georgia on December 31, First Coast News reported.
Gough wrote that 51-year-old Bryan has had “uncontrolled” high blood pressure since his arrest and detention last year, despite treatment at the Glynn County Detention Center.
“He has already seen a cardiologist, and is medicated, but the sporadic checks of his blood pressure regularly reflect blood pressure in excess of 180/100,” Gough wrote.
As recently as December 30, Bryan’s blood pressure was 190/100, according to Gough.
“Without humanitarian release under such conditions as the court deems appropriate, Mr. Bryan’s blood pressure will remain out of control,” he continued.
“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 has been contacted for additional comment.
Arbery, a 25-year-old Black man, was shot dead while jogging in Brunswick, Georgia on February 23 last year. But it wasn’t until May that Travis McMichael, his father Gregory McMichael and Bryan—who are all white—were arrested.
Prosecutors said the McMichaels armed themselves and followed Arbery after spotting him running in their neighborhood.
Their arrests, followed by Bryan’s, came after cellphone video of the shooting, captured on Bryan’s phone, was posted online, sparking an outcry and leading the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) to take over the case.
A grand jury indicted the McMichaels and Bryan on charges including malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault and false imprisonment. All three were denied bond. Bryan is also the subject of a child sexual molestation investigation.
At a preliminary hearing in June, GBI investigator Richard Dial said the McMichaels told investigators that they believed Arbery was involved in a burglary.
Dial said Bryan had struck Arbery with his vehicle before Travis McMichael allegedly shot Arbery. Dial also said Bryan told investigators he heard him use a racial slur as Arbery lay dying.
Police body camera footage released last month showed Greg McMichael telling police that his son “had no choice, man.”
Arbery’s name was among those invoked during racial justice protests in the wake of George Floyd’s killing last year.