Photo: Glynn County Jail / Getty Images
The three men convicted of the murder of Ahmaud Arbery were sentenced Friday to life imprisonment.
Travis McMichael, 35, and his father Gregory McMichael, 66, were sentenced to life imprisonment no possibility of parole.
His neighbor William “Roddie” Bryan, 52 years old, you will have to serve 30 years of your life sentence before you are 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 that the jury saw during the trial.
At the sentencing hearing Friday, lead prosecutor Linda Dunikoski asked Superior Court Judge Timothy Walmsley to sentence Travis McMichael and Gregory McMichael to life 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. When they couldn’t scare or intimidate him enough, they killed him. “
During the trial, prosecutors said Arbery was running when the men chased him through the neighborhood and eventually boxed him in 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.
The jurors spent 10 hours deliberating. before finding Travis McMichael guilty of all charges, including malicious murder, 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 crimes charges. A separate trial in the federal case is scheduled to begin on February 7.
Earlier this week, the Justice Department approached Cooper-Jones with a plea deal where the McMichaels would have to spend 30 years in prison, if they admitted that the murder was motivated by hatred, according to the Arbery family’s attorney. , Lee Merritt.
Cooper-Jones told “CBS Mornings” on Friday that she rejected the deal, because she wanted the men to be tried in 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.