Guilty verdicts for all three defendants in Arbery case

A jury found all three of the defendants in the Ahmaud Arbery case guilty of murder, including the person who filmed the killing and didn’t do anything to stop it.

Travis McMichael, who shot Arbery on Feb. 23, 2020, in Brunswick, Georgia, was convicted of all nine charges against him including malice murder, four counts of felony murder, two counts of aggravated assault, one count of false imprisonment and one criminal attempt to commit a felony.

McMichael’s father, Gregory, who was with him during the shooting, was convicted of four counts of felony murder, two counts of aggravated assault, one count of false imprisonment and one count of criminal attempt to commit a felony.

William “Roddie” Bryan, who filmed the incident on his phone, was found guilty of three counts of felony murder, one count of aggravated assault, one count of false imprisonment and one count of criminal attempt to commit a felony.

Facts of the case

Travis McMichael and his father chased Arbery in Travis’s pickup truck, cornered him, and then shot him when he tried to charge them. They claimed self-defense because he charged them, but the jury disagreed after deliberating for parts of two days before finding the men guilty.

The McMichaels said that they saw Arbery looking around a construction site in the neighborhood a few times and thought he was a thief. They were chasing him in accordance with a now-repealed citizen’s arrest law, they claimed.

There was no evidence that Arbery stole anything or damaged any property, however. A video of the killing made by Bryan was leaked and got national attention in May 2020.

Bryan’s lawyer tried to distance him from the McMichaels and claimed that Bryan didn’t know that a crime was being committed when he started filming the incident.

Racial elements to trial

During the trial, Prosecutor Linda Dunikoski said the three men attacked Arbery “because he was a Black man running down their street.”

“The jury system works in this country, and when you present the truth to people and they could see it, they will do the right thing. And that’s what this jury did today in getting justice for Ahmaud Arbery,” Dunikoski said.

Arbery’s mother Wanda Cooper-Jones said she “never thought this day would come” and that Arbery can “now rest in peace” after the verdict.

“God is good,” she said, and hugged supporters at the courthouse.

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