Three people sentenced to life for murder of black American jogger Ahmed Arbery

Sat, 2022-01-08 03:46

WASHINGTON: Three white men convicted of murdering African American jogger Ahmaud Arbery after being chased into their pickup trucks were sentenced on Friday to life in a case that exposed US tensions over racial justice.
Travis McMichael, 35, and his father Gregory McMichael, 66, were sentenced to life without parole, while their neighbor, William “Roddy” Bryan, 52, who had a less-than-direct role in the murder and cooperated with investigators was gone, was given life. With the possibility of parole.
All three were convicted in November of multiple counts of murder, aggravated assault and false imprisonment for stalking 25-year-old Arbery on February 23, 2020, as he fled his Satilla Shores neighborhood near Brunswick in the southern US state of Georgia Was.
Sentencing, Georgia Superior Court Judge Timothy Walmsley called the murder “a tragedy on many, many levels.”
Weighing the verdict, Walmsley said he kept thinking about the “terror of the young man running through the shores of Satila”.
“He left his house to go for a run and he ended up running for his life,” Walmsley said.
“He was killed because the people in this courtroom had taken the law into their own hands.”

The Arbery case added to nationwide anger and protests over police killings and mistreatment of African Americans in 2020 that began with the death of George Floyd in May of that year in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
In June last year, police officer Derek Chauvin, who was filmed kneeling on Floyd’s neck until he regained consciousness, was sentenced to 22.5 years in prison for murder.
Three other now-former police officers who were at the scene will stand trial in March on charges of complicity in the murder.

Before the sentencing, Arbery’s family members asked the court to give the three severe punishment.
Arbery’s mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, said, “They each have no regrets and do not deserve any leniency.”
“It wasn’t a case of mistaken identity… They chose to target my son because they didn’t want him in their community.”
“The man who killed my son is sitting next to his father in this court every day. I will never get a chance to sit next to my son, not at the dinner table, not on vacation and not at a wedding, ”said his father, Marcus Arbery.
Graphic cellphone videos taken by Bryan showed armed men chasing Arbery in their trucks for nearly five minutes, with no evidence that he may have been a thief.
Arbery repeatedly tried to avoid them, but was blocked by trucks and then shot and killed by Travis McMichael.
The men claimed they were trying to make “citizen arrests,” which was legal in Georgia at the time.
But a mostly white jury rejected that argument.
Prosecutor Linda Dunnikowski called his actions “vigilanteism.”
“Vigilance always goes wrong,” she said on Friday.
Speaking outside the courthouse after the sentencing, civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who represents Arbery’s family members, said the case would not be prosecuted without continued pressure from the community.
“Think of all the black people who have been lynched throughout the history of America and Georgia, who never got their day in court,” he said.
An investigation into the original incident was halted by local law enforcement for three months until the video was leaked, sparking national outrage.
A local prosecutor, Jackie Johnson, has been charged with violating his oath of office and allegedly obstructing an investigation into Arbery’s death.
However, the matter does not end with the sentence. In addition to the possibility of appealing the Georgia state case, the three men also face federal charges of civil rights violations in the search and murder of Arbery.
PMH / Kava

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All 3 men charged in Arbery’s death were convicted of murder The man who shot Ahmaud Arbery stands trial for murder.