Ahmed Arbery’s family asks judge to give maximum punishment to their killers

Ahmed Arbery’s parents and sister said in court Friday that he died doing what he loved most — running — and that they loved what they loved most about him, including his dark skin and athleticism. Kaya was also involved, which inspired three white men. guilty of murder For stalking and killing him while fleeing his neighborhood in Georgia in February 2020.

He asked Judge Timothy Walmsley to sentence three men – Travis McMichael; his father, Gregory McMichael; and William “Roddy” Bryan, who was convicted in November of murder and other charges – to life without the possibility of parole.

Arbery’s father, Marcus Arbery, begins his victim impact statement, pointing out that Travis McMichael, who fatally shot Arbery, still does what his son doesn’t.

“The man who killed my son is sitting in this courtroom next to his father every day. I will never get a chance to sit next to my son. Not at the normal table. Not on vacation. No more a wedding.” ,” said Marcus Arbery, adding that he hopes no one will have to bury their child in court.

“Not only did they kill my son in broad daylight,” he said, “but they killed him while he was doing what he loved “more than anything” – running, ” They said. “That was the time when he felt the most alive, the most free. And he took all that away from him.”

Ahmed Arbery.courtesy of family

Arbery was killed on February 23, 2020, when he was passing through the small coastal town of Satila Shores, where the men lived.

Travis McMichael and his father armed themselves and followed Arbery in a pickup truck. Brian joins the chase in his pickup truck. Arbery then got stuck in two vehicles.

Prosecutors said Arbery spent five minutes running away from the men. Travis McMichael shot 25-year-old Arbery with a shotgun at close range. Brian filmed the encounter on his cellphone.

The three men were arrested months later after the video leaked and brought international attention to the case.

Each of the men faces life in prison, but the judge will decide whether they are ever eligible for parole.

Jasmine Arbery described her brother as a young man full of life and energy.

She said through tears, “Ahmoud had black skin that glided like gold in the sunlight. He had thick curly hair, and he often liked to twist it.” “Ahmoud had a wide nose, and his eyes were filled with melanin. He was tall with an athletic build.”

She said she enjoys running and appreciates being outside.

Jasmine said, “It’s these qualities that made these people believe that Ahmed was a dangerous criminal and chased him down with guns. To me, those qualities represented a young man full of life and energy, who was a man of my own and those around him.” The ones I love,” Jasmine Arbery said. “Ahmud had a future that was taken away from him in an instance of violence. He was robbed of the pleasures big and small of his life. He would never be able to fulfill his professional dreams, nor would he start a family. or even be a part of my daughter’s life.”

She cried out: “Ahmoud’s loss has devastated me and my family. That’s why I am asking that those who killed him be given the maximum punishment available in court.”

Arbery’s mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, began her victim impact statement by addressing her youngest son, Arbery, who was born on Mother’s Day in 1994.

“I promised you the day I laid you to rest. I told you that I love you, and that someday, somehow, I will bring you justice,” she said.

“Son, I still love you as much as I did the day you were born,” she continued. “Raising you was the honor of my life, and I’m so proud of you.”

He then addressed the judge.

“Your honor, these people have chosen to lie and attack my son and his surviving family,” she said. “Each of them has no remorse and deserves no leniency. It was not a case of mistaken identity or misrepresentation. They chose to target my son because they didn’t want him in their community. They chose to treat him differently. Others who frequently visited his community. And when they couldn’t intimidate or intimidate him enough, they killed him.”

Arbery was seen several times in a security camera video at a house under construction in Satila Shores. The video never showed Arbery taking anything from the property.

Defense attorneys failed to convince a jury that the men suspected Arbery was a thief and were attempting a civilian arrest, which was legal at the time, or that Travis McMichael shot Arbery in self-defense. was given. indictment doubt that defense during the trial and said the men had no “immediate knowledge” of whether a crime had been committed.

Cooper-Jones said Arbery’s smile was so bright it lighted up a room. On her blazer was a pin with a picture of her and Arbery.

She remembered him as someone who sometimes refused to wear socks, a clear reference to statements made by Gregory McMichael’s attorney, Laura Hogg, who referred to Arbery as “long dirty toenails” during their closing argument. as described. Hogg’s remarks were described as racist.

“I wish he had cut and cleaned his toenails before he went out for that jog that day,” Cooper-Jones said in his statement. “I think he would have been if he knew he would be murdered.”

“My family will miss Ahmed. We are going to miss his jokes, his impersonations, his warm smile,” she said. “These people deserve the maximum punishment for their crimes.”

He said that Arbery didn’t say a word to the three men and that he just wanted to be alone.

“They were fully committed to their crimes,” Cooper-Jones said. “Let them fully commit to the results.”