Judge sentences Gregory and Travis McMichael to life in prison for the murder of Ahmet Arbery
Gregory and Travis McMichael, the white father and son convicted of killing black runner Ahmud Arbery, have been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole plus 20 years.
A judge delivered the sentences in Glenn County, Georgia, on Friday afternoon. McMichaels’ neighbor and co-defendant William “Roddie” Bryan Jr have been sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 30 years of service.
The verdict came nearly two years after the three men chased Arbery, who was unarmed, through a neighborhood in their trucks before shooting him in February 2020. The attack was captured in a video filmed by Brian Jr.
The three men were brought to trial in November on nine counts: one count of premeditated murder, four counts of murder, two counts of aggravated assault, one count of false imprisonment and one count of criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment.
Travis McMichael was convicted of premeditated murder and sentenced to prison, while Gregory McMichael and Brian Jr. received the maximum sentences for premeditated murder.
What after the verdict on the killers of Ahmed Arbery
The three white men who stalked and Ahmed Aswad, 25, Ahmed Arbery, were sentenced to life in prison on Friday.
But this is far from the end of the case, as Rachel Sharp explains.
Adam WithallJan 8 2022 06:53
Arbery’s death should force us to think about what a neighbor might be – the judge
In his comments during sentencing, Judge Timothy Walmsley referred to a statement Arbery’s mother made in court on Friday.
“They chose to target my son because they didn’t want him in their community,” Wanda Cooper-Jones, Arbery’s mother, said earlier. “When they couldn’t scare him or scare him enough, they killed him.”
In sentencing, the judge quoted the mother’s statements, saying she hit him as “very real.”
“At the very least, Ahmaud Arbery should compel us to consider broadening our definition of what a neighbor might be and how to deal with it,” the judge said.
Read more about Ms. Cooper-Jones’ victim’s statement here:
Adam WithallJan 8 2022 05:05
Family rejects federal hate crime plea deal for three murderers
Ahead of Friday’s sentencing, it was revealed that Arbery’s family had rejected a plea deal that would have seen his killers serve 30 years in prison for federal hate crimes.
The Department of Justice reached out to Arbery’s mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, earlier this week about the deal, under which Travis McMichael, Gregory McMichael, and William “Rudi” Brian Jr. will be sentenced to three decades in prison if they admit they were motivated by hate when they shot The black jogger.
Ms Cooper-Jones told CBS News she rejected the deal because she wanted the men to face those charges in court.
The Independent Rachel Sharp has more:
Megan SheetsJan 8 2022 04:00
ICYMI: Victim Impact Statement from Arbery’s Mother
Wanda Cooper-Jones, Arbery’s mother, said her son would have cut his toenails “if he knew he was going to be killed that day” because she made an emotional statement about victim impact when sentencing his three killers.
Cooper-Jones referred to comments made by a defense attorney at the trial in which they described her son’s “long, filthy toenails,” sparking a protest against the attempt to portray Arbery as a criminal rather than a victim.
Gregory McMichael’s attorney, Laura Hogg, said in the conclusion: “The conversion of Ahmed Arbery into a victim following the choices he made does not reflect the reality of what drove Ahmed Arbery to Satila Shores in his khaki shorts without socks to cover his long, filthy toenails.” arguments.
Mrs. Cooper-Jones, who wore a badge with her son’s picture on it, stifled back tears as she made derogatory comments about her son.
The Independent Rachel Sharp has more:
Megan SheetsJan 8 2022 03:00
ICYMI: Judge’s Notes When Sentencing
Before issuing his sentencing decision, Judge Timothy Walmsley asked the court to sit in silence for a minute, saying that it was “part of the time that Ahmaud Arbery was working at Satila Shores”.
“The chase on Satella Shores lasted for about five minutes,” he said, saying he was thinking about “the horror that must have been on the mind” of Mr. Arbery during that time. As we all know based on the verdict in November, Ahmet Arbery was killed.”
“It is a tragedy, a tragedy on so many levels. As we understand it, he left his house to go for a run and ended up running for his life.”
The judge said he reached his decision to award Brian a lower sentence because he believed he was “standing in very different shoes” than the McMichaels.
He said he believed Brian had expressed remorse after the murder for his actions in the aftermath of the murder.
“He took steps early on in this process that showed he had great concerns that what had happened should not have happened,” he said. “It makes Mr. Brian sit differently.”
However, he said the jury’s verdict cannot be appealed based on the evidence and that today’s outcome could have ended differently if he had not joined the chase in his pickup truck.
By contrast, Judge Walmsley said that “very early on Gregory McMichael tried to create a novel” about the murder.
He quoted some of the 66-year-old’s sayings in the aftermath, including: “If I could shoot the guy I would shoot him.”
He also referred to Travis McMichael’s comments that this was the “worst day of my life,” noting the effect the murder had on many other lives.
Footage of Travis McMichael “raising a gun to shoot Ahmed Arbery” showed a “really disturbing sight” of a man being “tracked and shot”.
“He was killed because the people here in this room took the law into their own hands,” he said. “When Ahmaud Arbery fell, McMichael turned their backs.”
Megan SheetsJan 8 2022 02:00
Travis McMichael, 35, was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole plus 20 years on nine counts including premeditated murder after he shot Arbery twice at close range with a rifle.
Gregory McMichael has been given life without the possibility of parole plus 20 years on eight counts including premeditated murder. The 66-year-old armed himself with a firearm and jumped into his truck with his son that day, chasing him “like a rat” and threatening “Stop or I’ll blow your head off!”
Brian, 52, was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole after being found guilty of six counts including premeditated murder after jurors learned how he discovered his neighbors were chasing Mr. Arbery and jumped in his own van to join. “5000 lbs lethal weapon” to corner and try to hit the unarmed black man.
All three were effectively sentenced to life in prison, as state law says that life with the possibility of parole means that parole can only be considered after 30 years in prison.
The Independent Rachel Sharp has more:
Megan SheetsJan 8 2022 01:00
Ahmaud Arbery’s mother ‘very thankful’ for life sentence
Wanda Cooper-Jones told CNN her family was “extremely grateful” after the three men who killed her son were sentenced to life in prison.
They really got what they deserve today. “I think we finally got justice for Ahmed,” she told the news network.
Graeme MasseyJan 8 2022 00:36
Arbery’s parents cry when judgments are made
A series of photos captured Ahmaud Arbery’s family’s reaction to Friday’s ruling.
Megan SheetsJan 8 2022 00:00
Prosecution asks to prevent defendants from making money from murder
After the verdicts were handed down, prosecutor Linda Donekowski asked the judge to prevent the defendants from making any money from their convictions or trials — including book or movie deals.
Such a ruling, she said, would ensure that men “receive no benefit from their actions”.
Donikowski added that if the defendants made any money from the ordeal, the profits would go to the Arbery family.
Brian Jr.’s attorney responded, “When the court does this, my only concern is how it will affect Mr. Bryan’s ability to raise funds for his defense, for his appeal. I don’t want to be in a position where he can’t inadvertently do so because of the judgment clause. “.
Megan SheetsJanuary 7 2022 23:00
Analysis: What next?
Nearly two years after three men in vans chased Ahmed Arbery through a neighborhood and shot them dead in the street, today’s killers are told they will spend the rest of their lives behind bars.
Travis McMichael, 35, and his father, Gregory McMichael, 66, were sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Their neighbor William “Rudy” Brian Jr. was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole.
However, the sentencing of the three killers does not mark the end of the case.
The three men are expected to appeal their convictions. Meanwhile, they are scheduled to stand trial on federal hate crimes charges in February.
The first local female lawyer to take up the case is also facing criminal charges over her handling of the preliminary investigation.
Arbery’s mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, is also pursuing a civil lawsuit against the police and prosecutors for their handling of the case.
Moreover, many also feel that the case could have far-reaching implications for so-called civil justice across America.
The Independent Rachel Sharp explains what to expect over the coming months:
Megan SheetsJan 7 2022 22:24