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Jury Hands Down Multiple Guilty Verdicts in Ahmaud Arbery Murder Case

November 24, 2021 by Dan McCue
Defendant Travis McMichael speaks with his attorney Bob Rubin while they wait for the jury to return to the courtroom during the trial of McMichel and his father, Greg McMichael, and a neighbor, William "Roddie" Bryan in the Glynn County Courthouse, Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2021, in Brunswick, Ga. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton, Pool)

BRUNSWICK, Ga. — All three defendants have been found guilty of murder in the fatal shooting of jogger Ahmaud Arbery in February 2020.

The reckoning came shortly after 2 p.m. Wednesday after about 10 hours of deliberations.

It followed a trial in which prosecutors argued that the defendants provoked a confrontation with Arbery and defense attorneys said their clients were acting in self-defense.

Travis McMichael, the man who fatally shot Ahmaud Arbery, was convicted of malice murder and all of the other charges he faced, aggravated assault, false imprisonment and attempted false imprisonment.

McMichael’s father, Greg McMichael, and their neighbor, William “Roddie” Bryan, were also convicted of murder and other charges, though they were each found not guilty of “malice murder.”

Each of the murder convictions carry a minimum sentence of life in prison. It is up to the judge to decide whether that comes with or without the possibility of parole.

According to prosecutors, the McMichaels saw 25-year-old Arbery running through their neighborhood outside the Georgia port city of Brunswick and quickly grabbed guns, pursuing the jogger in their pickup trucks.

Bryan joined the chase in his own pickup and recorded a cellphone video of Travis McMichael firing the shots that killed Arbery.

Arbery’s killing became part of a larger national reckoning on racial injustice after the graphic video leaked online two months later. 

Though prosecutors did not argue that racism motivated the killing, federal authorities have charged all three men with hate crimes, alleging that they chased and killed Arbery because he was Black. 

Their trial on those charges is scheduled to get underway in February.

In a statement following the announcement of the verdict, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp said, “Ahmaud Arbery was the victim of a vigilantism that has no place in Georgia.”

“As legal efforts continue to hold accountable all who may be responsible, we hope the Arbery family, the Brunswick community, our state, and those around the nation who have been following his case can now move forward down a path of healing and reconciliation,” Kemp said.

Dan can be reached at [email protected] and at https://Twitter.com/DanMcCue

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