In closing arguments Monday morning, prosecutors presented a picture of John “Bobby” Arbery — the former Metro police chief who was convicted last summer of beating a Metro employee — as a man who was out to hurt the employee by hiding her notes as if she had conjured them up.
Arbery’s lawyer, Paul Gill, countered that prosecution witnesses gave multiple statements in reciting a narrative that “incredibly” jelled when the final police officer the district hired, Sgt. Kevin McMahon, came to court to take the stand. Gill focused on the behavior of Gail Greenberg, the employee who testified against Arbery and whose recollection of the incident they had medical examiners to corroborate and medical records to prove, and which cleared three of four officers present in the encounter that night.
As prosecutors read the newspaper and discussed how many lines in Arbery’s account of the incident matched those of Greenberg, Gill looked at her over the courtroom screen and asked, “I don’t mean to be melodramatic, but that doesn’t sound right.”
“So you had a 4,000-word handwritten note by Gail in which she outlined what Sgt. McMahon saw, what Sgt. McMahon told you and what you reported as she was giving you direction,” Gill said. “Why would she only have handwritten that down? I’ll tell you why: She really wanted people to believe that she had seen what Sgt. McMahon saw. Gail was not confident in her memory that she actually saw what she claimed to see.”