Prosecutors in the murder trial had considered introducing what they described as “racial” evidence, including inflammatory Facebook posts or text messages from the three men. But in the end, they touched only lightly on racial themes in making their case to the nearly all-white jury.

It is unclear which of these pieces of evidence, or others, might be introduced in the federal trial. In a pretrial hearing, state prosecutors read a text message from November 2019 in which Travis McMichael used a racist slur about Black people as he described the idea of shooting a “crackhead” with “gold teeth.”

In a federal court filing in late December, the lawyer for Mr. Bryan asked the court to exclude evidence that suggested Mr. Bryan had “racial animus” toward Black people, including racially insensitive text messages he had made around the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday and witness testimony “that would suggest Bryan did not approve of his adopted daughter dating an African American man.”

A Georgia state investigator has said that Mr. Bryan told the authorities that he heard Travis McMichael use a racist slur shortly after shooting Mr. Arbery. Mr. McMichael’s lawyers have disputed that claim.

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