Travis McMichael and his father, Gregory McMichael, who murdered Ahmaud Arbery while he was running near his home in Brunswick, Ga., have been sentenced to life in prison without parole. William “Roddy” Bryan, Jr., who joined the McMichael’s in the chase for Arbery, received life in prison with the possibility of parole.
The 25-year-old Arbery was stalked, ambushed and shot to death while out for a jog on Feb. 23, 2020, but it wasn’t until Bryan’s cellphone video of the murder emerged two months later that the case gained international attention. The video sparked a public outcry, but charges against the three men were not brought until more than a year later.
The sentence follows the verdicts the three men were charged with during November’s trial, which lasted eight days, and 23 witnesses were called. Travis McMichael was the only defendant to testify. During sentencing, McMichael’s lawyer Bob Rubin pushed for innocence, “Do we still need, want a person like (Travis) McMichael behind bars? He thought he was helping their community.”
McMichael, 35 (who fired the shots that killed Arbery), his father, Gregory McMichael, 65, and William “Roddy” Bryan, Jr., 52, were charged with malice murder, four counts of felony murder, two counts of aggravated assault and one count each of false imprisonment and criminal attempt to commit a felony back in November. (Although Travis McMichael pulled the trigger, in the state of Georgia, accomplices can be charged with murder; Bryan faced the same charges as the McMichaels).
The defence pleaded that the McMichaels suspected Arbery of being a burglar and that they were attempting to make a citizen’s arrest when they grabbed their guns and chased him down in their truck.
The two men will be in prison for the rest of their lives.