The judge in the trial of three white men who chased and killed Ahmaud Arbery has declined to override decisions in jury selection that left just one Black juror on the final panel of 12.

Prosecutors had asked Superior Court Judge Timothy Walmsley on Wednesday to reinstate eight Black potential jurors. They argued that defense lawyers struck them from the final jury because of their race. The U.S. Supreme Court has held that it's unconstitutional to exclude people from trial juries solely based on race.

Superior Court Judge Timothy Walmsley gives instructions to a pool of prospective jurors during jury selection for the trial of Greg and Travis McMichael and William "Roddie" Bryan, at the Glynn County Courthouse, Monday, Oct. 25, 2021, in Brunswick, Ga.
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Superior Court Judge Timothy Walmsley gives instructions to a pool of prospective jurors during jury selection for the trial of Greg and Travis McMichael and William "Roddie" Bryan, at the Glynn County Courthouse, Monday, Oct. 25, 2021, in Brunswick, Ga.

Credit: AP Photo / Stephen B. Morton, Pool

Walmsley acknowledged that “intentional discrimination" by attorneys for the three white defendants charged in the death of the Black man appeared to have shaped jury selection.

But he said Georgia law limited his authority to intervene, and he was limited in his ability to change the jury's racial makeup as defense attorneys gave nonracial reasons for striking potential jurors.

Arbery's mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, told reporters outside the courthouse she found it “devastating” that only one Black juror will be seated. Still, she said of the final jury: “I’m very confident that they’ll make the right decision after seeing all the evidence.”