Travis McMichael and William “Roddie” Bryan, two of the three white males who will be sentenced on Monday for their participation in the murder of Ahmaud Arbery, are shown in this photo, standing from left to right. hide caption AP
toggle caption Travis McMichael and William “Roddie” Bryan, two of the three white males who will be sentenced on Monday for their participation in the murder of Ahmaud Arbery, are shown in this photo, standing from left to right.
AP GA SAVANNAH As punishment for committing a federal hate crime, the white man who fatally shot Ahmaud Arbery, 25, in a Georgia neighborhood after chasing the Black guy received a life sentence on Monday.
In the port city of Brunswick, U.S. District Court Judge Lisa Godbey Wood sentenced Travis McMichael. Given that McMichael was previously given a life without parole term in a Georgia state court for the murder of Arbery, the majority of his punishment is symbolic.
McMichael, according to Wood, got a “fair trial.”
One of three defendants found guilty of federal hate crime charges in February was McMichael. Later on Monday, sentencing hearings for his father Greg McMichael and his neighbor William “Roddie” Bryan were scheduled.
On February 23, 2020, the McMichaels chased Arbery while carrying firearms, using a pickup truck as a means of transportation. Bryan jumped into the chase in his own pickup and captured on camera how McMichael shot Arbery with a shotgun.
The McMichaels informed the police that they thought Arbery was a thief. He was found to be unarmed and innocent by investigators.
The murder of Arbery on February 23, 2020, was a part of a larger national conversation about racial injustice and the deaths of Black people without cause, including George Floyd in Minneapolis and Breonna Taylor in Kentucky. The Justice Department also filed federal charges in those two instances.
Travis McMichael, who shot and murdered Arbery with a shotgun during the street chase started by his father and joined by a neighbor, both of whom are white, was the first defendant to get a separate sentence on Monday.
A jury found Greg McMichael and Bryan guilty of federal hate crimes in February, finding that they had violated Arbery’s civil rights and singled him out because of his color. They might receive life sentences as a result. The McMichaels will also face punishment for using firearms to commit a violent crime as all three men were also found guilty of attempting to kidnap someone.
In January, a state Superior Court judge sentenced all three men to life in prison without the possibility of release for the murder of Arbery. Both McMichaels received life sentences .
Following their federal convictions in January, the three defendants have remained imprisoned in coastal Glynn County, under the guardianship of U.S. marshals, while awaiting sentencing.
According to protocol, they should have been turned over to the Georgia Department of Corrections to begin serving their life sentences in a state prison since they were initially accused and found guilty of murder in a state court.
Both Travis and Greg McMichael requested the judge to divert them to a federal prison in a court filing last week, arguing that they won’t be safe in the Georgia prison system, which is the focus of an ongoing investigation by the U.S. Justice Department into inmate fighting.
The McMichaels and Bryan should serve their terms in a state jail, the Arbery family has urged, because they believe it would be less harsh than a federal prison. When both McMichaels requested a plea deal that included a request to be transferred to federal prison, his parents vehemently objected before the federal trial. In the end, the judge turned down the plea bargain.
According to Augusta attorney and former U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Georgia Ed Tarver, a federal judge lacks the jurisdiction to force the state to turn up its legal custody of prisoners to the Federal Bureau of Prisons. He claimed that the judge may ask the state correctional department to transfer the defendants to a federal jail.
On February 23, 2020, the McMichaels saw Arbery fleeing past their house near the port city of Brunswick. They immediately armed themselves with firearms and got into a truck to pursue him. In his own pickup, Bryan joined the chase and assisted in stopping Arbery’s flight. Additionally, he saw on cellphone camera Travis McMichael shooting Arbery at close range when Arbery was grabbing the shotgun and throwing blows.
The McMichaels informed the police that they believed Arbery had been robbing a neighboring unfinished house. Authorities eventually determined, however, that he was unarmed and had not broken any laws. His family has long maintained that Arbery was simply out jogging.
On May 17, 2020, in Brunswick, Georgia, where the 25-year-old man was shot and died in February, a painted mural depicting Ahmaud Arbery will be on display. hide caption Sarah Blake/AP
switch to caption Sarah Blake/AP
On May 17, 2020, in Brunswick, Georgia, where the 25-year-old man was shot and died in February, a painted mural depicting Ahmaud Arbery will be on display.
AAP Sarah Blake Nevertheless, it was over two months before any legal action was taken over Arbery’s passing. Only after the horrific video of the shooting surfaced online and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation took over the case from local police were the McMichaels and Bryan detained.
By presenting the jury with about 20 text conversations and social media posts in which Travis McMichael and Bryan utilized the racist slurs and made derogatory remarks about Black people, the prosecution’s argument that Arbery’s murder was motivated by racism was strengthened during the February hate crimes trial. Greg McMichael was heard by a witness saying, “All those Blacks are nothing but trouble,” in a rage in 2015.
The McMichaels and Bryan didn’t follow Arbery because of his race, the defense lawyers for the three men contended, but rather because they had a sincere but incorrect belief that Arbery had committed crimes in their community.