Prior to the start of opening statements in the case of the killing of Ahmaud Arbery, Debbie was asked by CourtTV to comment on several aspects of the case.
First, on a motion about Arbery’s probation status. The defense alleges that the reason he was running was because he saw a neighbor across the street and he knew he was on probation. Prosecution says that’s “nonsense”.
Debbie says that, “… based on the judge’s previous ruling regarding blood alcohol content and THC levels in his blood that he’s going to rule this as irrelevant. And it is irrelevant. That’s how he should rule. There’s absolutely no relevance whatsoever to whether he was on probation at the time. The issue is, were these people acting in self-defense when they attacked him. I know that there are a lot of people that are upset about the make-up of the jury, but I have to tell you that most of the time, juries get it right, and I’m very hopeful that they’re going to see this exactly for what it was, and that was, a murder. But I don’t think the judge is going to allow any evidence of the fact that he was on probation. I don’t see what relevance it has, whatsoever.”
The second motion involves the defense has asking that the Confederate Flag license plate on the front of the defendant’s truck be blurred out in police cam footage when being played in court. Debbie was asked, “the Confederate Flag vanity license plate, in or out, what do you think the judge should do”?
“The judge is going to leave that right where it was, I don’t think he’s going to blur it out. There’s no reason to blur it out. It’s evidence. You know, this is a hate crime, and many people associate the Confederate flag with racism, and I think it has a great deal of relevance here. I do not think the judge is going to blur that out, I hope he doesn’t. Absolutely, I think (the prosecution’s) argument that Ahmaud saw this when he turned around was a very good one. I think a lot of people could relate to the fact that they would run as well if they saw a truck behind them coming after them with this emblem on it, and I think the judge is going to leave that in. “
Finally, Debbie was asked what she was expecting in the opening statements from the prosecution, and what she would do if it were in here hands:
“Well, you have to be careful in your opening statement not to make it a closing statement. In other words, as a prosecutor, what you want to do is lay out what the evidence is going to show. Generally, you want to do that methodically, you don’t want to over promise, you don’t want to say exactly what a witness is going to say because you never know what’s going to happen when they get on the witness stand. But, you want to lay out for the jurors how you’re going to present the case, what the evidence is going to show and you also want to establish the themes. The theme here is so compelling: we have a man with a beautiful life ahead of him who lost his life senselessly and violently. I think that will be easy for her to make a very compelling opening statement to the jury. I think that will be the underlying theme to all the evidence in this case and, if I were her, that’s what I would be doing. I would be making sure they understand the gravity of this case, and the senselessness and the pure sadness that goes with it.”
Hear more about the case, by watching this clip from CourtTV. Debbie’s comments begin at 8:40 in the video.