On Friday, three white men convicted of killing a black man, Ahmed Arbery, were sentenced to life in Georgia.
sentence for Travis McMichael, who shot Arbery; And his father, Gregory McMichael, is unlikely to be paroled. His neighbor William “Roddy” Bryan would be eligible, however, Superior Court Judge Timothy Walmsley said.
All three men were convicted of murder and other charges by a Glyn County jury in November in Arbery’s search and fatal shooting on February 23, 2020.
Walmsley called Arbery’s killing “disgusting” and said it happened because “there was a demand for confrontation.”
Before announcing the sentence, the judge asked the court to sit in silence for a minute, he said, a fraction of the estimated time Arbery was running before the men were killed in terror.
“He left his house to run and ran to save his life,” the judge said.
Sentences conform to prosecutor’s request Linda Dunnikowski, who recommended that Bryan get a chance on parole, and that the McMichaels be denied that possibility. Danikowski said the father and son showed no remorse or sympathy for the “trapped and frightened Ahmaud Arbery”.
Defense lawyers argued in favor of parole for all three men.
A lawyer for Travis McMichael said he “should have the opportunity to show that he has grown, to show that he has changed.” The attorney, Robert Rubin, said a parole board must determine whether Travis McMichael has been released from prison.
Arbery’s parents and sister, who spoke before the sentence was given, asked the judge to give the maximum admissible punishment to the men.
“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.” Ahmaud Arbery’s father, Marcus Arbery, said before the sentence was announced. “His killers should spend the rest of their lives wondering what they did and what they took from us and they should do it behind bars because I and my family have to do this for the rest of my life.”
The McMichaels armed themselves and followed Arbery in a pickup truck, seeing him run into their neighborhood, Satilla Shores. Brian joined his pickup truck and recorded the video of the fatal encounter on his cellphone.
McMichaels and Brian were Was accused With one count of malice murder, four counts of felony, two counts of grievous assault, and one count of false imprisonment and one count of criminal attempt to commit an offence.
Travis McMichael, who fired three shots at Arbery from close range, pleaded guilty to all nine charges. Gregory McMichael was convicted of all charges except malice. Bryan was convicted of three counts of felony, one count of felony assault, false imprisonment, and one count of criminal attempt to commit a felony.
The nearly all-white jury deliberated for about 10 hours before delivering its verdict.
Grudge Those convicted of murder and felony murder both carry a minimum sentence of life in prison. Lawyers for all three men have said they intend to appeal the conviction.
Prosecutors said Arbery ran from the men for five minutes. Arbery eventually got stuck between two pickup trucks and ended up in a collision with Travis McMichael, who was armed with a shotgun.
The McMichaels and Brian were free for several weeks after the shooting. He was arrested shortly after Bryan’s recorded video was released, and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation took over the case.
From the start, Arbery’s family and friends questioned the handling of the matter by local authorities. Arbery’s killing, along with the killing of George Floyd, sparked protests against racial injustice in the US and beyond.
Attorneys for the men, who each had their own defense team, argued that the men suspected Arbery was a thief in the area he claimed was “on edge”. Arbery was recorded on security camera video visiting partially built houses in the neighborhood many times. The video does not show him taking anything from the property. The last video was recorded in the afternoon when he was killed. The defense tried to convince the jury that the McMichaels and Bryan were trying to execute a civilian arrest, which was legal in the state at the time.
But chief prosecutor Danikowski challenged that narrative. In her closing argument, she said that Arbery had not committed a crime in the presence of any men and that they decided to “attack” him “because he was a black man running down the street.”
“Who brought the gun to the party?” he said. “You can’t position and then go, ‘I was defending myself.'”
Prosecutors did not argue that race motivated the murder, but all three face federal hate crime charges,