AHMAUD Arbery's mom has suggested the slain jogger was simply checking wiring at an abandoned property as he aspired to be an electrician when he was killed.
Father and son Gregory McMichael, 64, and Travis, 34, say they shot him because they thought he was a burglar but it is now being investigated as a race hate murder.
Ahmaud, 25, was shot dead while out running near Brunswick, Georgia, on February 23.
The McMichaels say they were trying to perform a citizens arrest because they thought he matched the description of a man caught behind recent break-ins in the area.
The ex-cop father also claimed Ahmaud had attacked his son before they opened fire.
Security camera footage showed Ahmaud at an abandoned property, but it's not clear what he was doing there.
The pair said they chased him in their truck after they saw him enter the property.
Another man William “Roddie” Bryan Jr., 50, is also now charged in connection with the death after he followed and filmed the shooting on his cell phone.
Ahmaud's mom, Wanda Cooper-Jones, thinks her son was at the construction site to inspect the wiring.
The 25-year-old was an aspiring electrician, enrolled at South Georgia Technical College intending to follow his uncles into the trade.
She said: "I think that when he went into the property, he probably was looking to see how they were going to run the wire or how he would do the job if it was one of his assignments."
Wanda's suggestion comes after Larry English, the owner of the property, said the jogger may have stopped there to drink from a water source on the construction site.
The death, which has rocked America, is now being investigated as a hate crime by the Justice Department.
The Arbery family lawyer announced the investigation, according to PBS.
The federal charge carries a life sentence if the outcome of the crime is death - it would also supersede any state case, with the outcome of that case irrelevant if defendants are found guilty.
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The Arbery family have been highly critical of the state's handling of the case arguing the McMichaels' connections to law enforcement protected them.
It took three months for any arrests to be made as the case bounced between three prosecutors in the state.
Georgia's Attorney General is now investigating the handling of the death, after critics accused prosecuters of overlooking it deliberately to protect ex-cop McMichaels.