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Who is attorney Kevin Gough and why does he want Black pastors tossed out Ahmaud Arbery trial?

Savannah Morning News logo Savannah Morning News 4 days ago Zach Dennis, Savannah Morning News

The second full week of testimony started Monday in the trial of the three men charged in the murder of 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery early last year.

Arbery was fatally shot in February 2020 in Brunswick, Georgia, about 70 miles south of Savannah. Father and son Greg and Travis McMichael, and their neighbor, William "Roddie" Bryan, were charged with murder and other crimes two months after the incident, following the release of cellphone video shot by Bryan of the killing.

William "Roddie" Bryan, center, sits next to his attorney Kevin Gough, left, during jury selection for the trial of Greg and Travis McMichael and their neighbor, Bryan, at the Glynn County Courthouse, Monday, Oct. 25, 2021, in Brunswick, Ga. The three are charged with the February 2020 slaying of 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton, Pool) © Stephen B. Morton, AP William "Roddie" Bryan, center, sits next to his attorney Kevin Gough, left, during jury selection for the trial of Greg and Travis McMichael and their neighbor, Bryan, at the Glynn County Courthouse, Monday, Oct. 25, 2021, in Brunswick, Ga. The three are charged with the February 2020 slaying of 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton, Pool)

A jury that includes only one person of color was selected Nov. 3 – more than two weeks after attorneys began working through an initial pool of hundreds of would-be jurors, many of whom had a personal connection to the case.

Kevin Robert Gough, the defense attorney for Bryan, has made headlines throughout the trial. 

Here is what to know about Gough:

How to watch live from the court: Second week of testimony starts in Ahmaud Arbery killing

Kevin Gough, attorney for William "Roddie" Bryan, enters the Glynn County Courthouse on Wednesday November 10, 2021. © Richard Burkhart/Savannah Morning News Kevin Gough, attorney for William "Roddie" Bryan, enters the Glynn County Courthouse on Wednesday November 10, 2021.

Key players: The people, events and aftermath of Ahmaud Arbery case

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Kevin Gough attorney bio

Gough is the lead attorney for his Brunswick, Georgia-based law firm, Kevin Gough Firm, LLC. According to his LinkedIn profile, he was an attorney for 24 years at The Gough Firm in Brunswick before moving to his own firm in April 2018. He also worked for the Public Defender Office in the Brunswick Judicial Circuit for four years from 2012-2016 as a circuit public defender.

He is a graduate of the College of William and Mary and got a doctorate of law from the University of Georgia School of Law in 1987. He currently lives in St. Simons Island in Glynn County, Georgia.

He is representing suspect William Bryan in the trial for Ahmaud Arbery.

No more Black pastors: What is Gough objecting to in the Ahmaud Arbery case?

Gough made headlines when he asked if Black pastors such as Rev. Jesse Jackson could be barred from coming into the courtroom.

The civil rights leader joined Arbery's family, sparking a tense discussion among the attorneys and a motion for mistrial over Jackson's presence and after Arbery's mother was heard weeping in the gallery. Judge Timothy Walmsley also denied the motion for mistrial. 

"There is no reason for these prominent icons in the civil rights movement to be here," he said. "I would suggest whether its intended or not, inevitably a juror is going to be influenced by their presence in this courtroom."

It's the second time the judge has refused defense attorney Kevin Gough's request to bar members of the public from the courtroom. Previously, Gough took issue with the Rev. Al Sharpton, suggesting it would intimidate the jury.

Chatham County Superior Court Judge Timothy Walmsley denied the mistrial request by Gough, adding that his "words have an impact on a lot of what is going on."

This article originally appeared on Savannah Morning News: Who is attorney Kevin Gough and why does he want Black pastors tossed out Ahmaud Arbery trial?

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