Three face sentencing Friday for Arbery murder | Local News

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The three men convicted in the murder of Ahmaud Arbery face sentencing Friday at the Glynn County Courthouse, six weeks after a jury found the trio of White men guilty of killing the 25-year-old Black man.

Eastern Judicial Circuit Judge Timothy Walmsely will preside over the sentencing hearing that begins at 10 a.m.

Each man faces up to life in prison.

The Glynn County jurors, 11 of whom were White and one of whom was Black, rendered guilty verdicts on Nov. 24 against Travis McMichael, 35, his father Gregory McMichael, 66, and 52-year-old William “Roddie” Bryan after two weeks of testimony. Jurors deliberated a little more than 10 hours before convicting the three of murder, aggravated assault, false imprisonment and criminal attempt to commit a felony.

Travis McMichael shot the unarmed Arbery twice at close range with buckshot from a 12-gauge shotgun on Feb. 23, 2020, near the intersection of Satilla Drive and Holmes Road. Arbery collapsed to the pavement and died, culminating an incident in which he ran through the neighborhood for some five minutes while being pursued by the McMichaels in one pickup truck and Bryan in another pickup.

Bryan recorded the bloody conclusion with his cell phone, a video that sparked national outrage and cries of racial injustice when it went viral after leaking online in early May 2020. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation took over the stagnate investigation and arrested the McMichaels two days later and followed up with Bryan’s arrest on May 21.

The defendants claimed self defense in the course of conducting a citizen’s arrest, saying they suspected Arbery of burglary. But testimony from the McMichaels, several county police officers and surveillance video of a home under construction at 220 Satilla Drive showed Arbery had committed no crimes.

Prosecuting attorney Linda Dunikoski successfully argued that the McMichaels and Bryan acted as vigilantes in pursuing Arbery to a deadly confrontation when they had no grounds to do so.

The highly publicized trial opened Oct. 18 with a jury selection process that stretched for two and a half weeks, after which many protested the dearth of African American representation on the jury ultimately impaneled. The trial ended on Nov. 23, followed by the guilty verdict on Nov. 24.

The jury found Travis McMichael guilty on all nine counts against him: malice murder, 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.

Jurors found Greg McMichael guilty 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.

The jury found Bryan guilty on 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.

In February, the three men will go on trial again, this time for federal hate crimes of interference of rights and attempted kidnapping. That trial begins Feb. 7 with jury selection at the U.S. District Courthouse in Brunswick.

The McMichaels also face federal charges of brandishing a firearm in a crime of violence. Additionally, Travis McMichael faces a charge of discharging a firearm in a crime of violence.

Prior to Friday’s sentencing, the Glynn Clergy For Equity will host a Service Toward Healing at 8 a.m. on the grounds outside the courthouse. All are welcome to attend.



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