Photo: Glynn County Jail / Getty Images
The three men convicted of the murder of Ahmaud Arbery were sentenced to life imprisonment on Friday.
Travis McMichael, 35, and his father Gregory McMichael, 66, were sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
His neighbor William “Roddie” Bryan, 52, will have to serve 30 years of his life sentence before he is eligible for parole. The three men, all white, were convicted in November of the murder of Arbery, the 25-year-old African-American man.
Arbery was shot and killed in February 2020 while jogging in a Brunswick, Georgia neighborhood. The shooting was captured on cell phone video, which the jury saw during the trial.
At the sentencing hearing on Friday, lead prosecutor Linda Dunikoski asked Superior Court Judge Timothy Walmsley to give life to Travis McMichael and Gregory McMichael without the possibility of parole.
Dunikoski asked Bryan to receive life in prison with the possibility of parole.
Travis McMichael’s attorney, Bob Rubin, asked his client, who shot Arbery to death, for a chance to get parole. Gregory McMichael’s attorney, Laura Hogue, requested the same.
In emotional testimony, Arbery’s family asked that the defendant receive the maximum punishment allowed.
“None of them have regrets and they don’t deserve any indulgence,” Wanda Cooper-Jones, Arbery’s mother, told Walmsley. “This was not a case of wrong identity or fact. They chose to target my son because they didn’t want him in their community. Women don’t scare or intimidate him, they kill him ”.
During the trial, prosecutors said Arbery was running when the men chased him through the neighborhood, eventually jamming him with their trucks before Travis McMichael fired the fatal shots. The defense team argued that the men believed Arbery was a robbery suspect and claimed that they acted in self-defense.
Jurors spent just 10 hours deliberating before finding Travis McMichael guilty on all counts, including murder by malice, felony murder, and aggravated assault.
Gregory McMichael and Bryan were not convicted of malicious murder, but were found guilty of felony murder and other charges.
The McMichaels and Bryan also face federal hate crime cartoons. A separate trial in the federal case is scheduled to begin on February 7.
Earlier this week, the Justice Department approached Cooper-Jones about a plea deal that McMichaels would have to spend 30 years in prison if they admit that what they did was motivated by hatred, according to the Arbery family’s attorney. , Lee Merritt.
Cooper-Jones told “CBS Mornings” on Friday that he rejected the deal because he wants the men to face court on those charges.
“I think federal charges are just as important as state charges and I think they should be tried on those charges as well,” Cooper-Jones said.