The Three Men Convicted Of Murdering Ahmaud Arbery Sentenced To Life In Prison
It’s been almost two years since the tragic and senseless death of Ahmaud Arbery, 25, occurred. It’s certainly been a long road, from the initial media coverage to the arrest and trial, and now a conviction. The three white men convicted of murdering Ahmaud Arbery, a Black man, in Georgia were sentenced Friday (Jan.7) to life in prison. Travis McMichael, 35, who delivered the fatal shot to Arbery, was sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole and was convicted on all nine charges: malice murder, four counts of felony murder, aggravated assault with a shotgun, aggravated assault with a pickup truck, false imprisonment and criminal intent to commit a felony.
McMichael’s father, Gregory McMichael, 65, was also sentenced to life without the possibility of parole, however, the McMichaels’ neighbor, William “Roddie” Bryan, 53, was sentenced to life with the possibility of parole. He was found guilty of three of the felony murder counts as well as charges of aggravated assault with his pickup truck, false imprisonment and criminal intent to commit a felony.
Reportedly, before announcing the verdict, Judge Timothy Walmsley asked the courtroom to sit in silence for one minute to illustrate, only “a fraction of the time” Arbery was running in terror from the men before he was killed. Judge Walmsley said,
“On February 23, 2020, almost two years ago, a resident of Glynn County, a graduate of Brunswick High, a son, a brother, a young man with dreams was gunned down in this community..As we understand it, he left his home apparently to go for a run. And he ended up running for his life.”
Ahmaud Arbery’s parents and sister were present in the courtroom and asked the judge to give the men the maximum punishment allowable. His father, Marcus Arbery reflected on the tragic loss of his son.
“The man who killed my son has been sitting in this courtroom, every single day, next to his father. I’ll never get that chance, to sit next to my son ever again, not at the table, not at a holiday.”
His mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones began her powerful statement with a message to her son, Ahmaud.
“This verdict doesn’t bring you back. But it does help bring closure to this very difficult chapter of my life. I made a promise to you, I’ll lay you to rest. I told you I love you and someday, somehow I would get you justice. Son, I love you as much today as I did the day that you were born. Raising you was the honor of my life and I’m very proud of you.”
The nearly all-white jury deliberated for about 10 hours before delivering its verdict. In addition to Friday’s sentencing, the three men have also been indicted on federal hate crime charges, and all have pleaded not guilty. Jury selection for that trial is set to begin Feb. 7.
As previously reported, 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery was murdered in February 2020 while jogging in Glynn County, Georgia. He was shot down by Travis McMichael after being pursued and confronted by him, his father Gregory McMichael, and William “Roddie” Bryan. The murder–which was filmed–eventually went viral, and it was immediately speculated to be racially motivated. All three men were federally indicted in April 2021.
We continue to send our condolences to Ahmaud Arbery’s family.