TSR Exclusive Details: The judge on Ahmaud Arbery’s case just dealt another blow to the defense ahead of his alleged killers Gregory and Travis McMichael’s trial in just a few weeks.
Judge Timothy Walmsley ruled Friday that Ahmaud Arbery’s mental health records cannot be used as evidence by the defense. This decision further limits the way defense attorneys’ efforts to portray Ahmaud in a negative light, as Walmsley also ruled that they cannot use his troubled past as evidence either.
According to court docs obtained by The Shade Room, the judge ruled that Ahmaud’s medical privacy must be protected, even in death, saying Ahmaud’s right to privacy supersedes the defendants’ fifth and sixth amendment rights.
According to the docs, the defendants argued that Ahmaud’s mental health diagnosis, which when left untreated, explains why he turned toward Travis McMichael during their confrontation. Additionally, the judge also outlined that the medical records the defense wants to introduce as evidence are from one single visit to a hospital and the supposed “diagnosis” came from a registered nurse who wasn’t even trained in mental health.
“There is no evidence that the victim was suffering from any mental health issue, or had otherwise decompensated, on February 23, 2020,” Judge Walmsley wrote. “Instead, it appears that the Defense wants to use the records to make relevant “other acts” evidence already excluded by this Court in prior Order.”
Additionally, he wrote, “The ‘diagnosis’ contained therein was made by a registered nurse, who was not formally trained in mental health but instead had taken an ‘online’ course that she would click through and read, and then took a short test at the end. This RN was tasked with questioning Arbery and coming up with mental health diagnosis. A nurse practitioner with Gateway met with Arbery on that same day for half an hour, and then confirmed the RN’s diagnosis and gave him a prescription. There was no follow-up, no feedback from Arbery, nor any continued treatment that would suggest this ‘diagnosis’ was correct or that the prescription was helpful in any way.”
In just a few weeks, the McMichaels, along with their friend William “Roddy” Bryan, will stand trial for the killing of Ahmaud, which took place back in February 2020. The men are accused of chasing down Ahmaud as he was jogging through their neighborhood and shooting him to death after confronting him because they alleged he may have burglarized a home a few weeks prior.
We’ll keep you posted on any updates in this case.
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