A judge has sentenced the three men convicted of murdering Ahmaud Arbery to life in prison. Travis McMichael and his father Gregory McMichael were sentenced to life plus 20 years without the possibility of parole. Their neighbor William “Roddie” Bryan was sentenced to life with the possibility of parole.
In Georgia, life in prison is the minimum sentence for murder, leaving the question of parole up to presiding judge Timothy Walmsley.
In February 2020, Travis McMichael, Gregory McMichael and Bryan followed the 25-year-old Arbery, who was on a jog, with their pickup trucks in the Georgia suburb of Satilla Shores. The pursuit ended after five minutes when 35-year-old Travis McMichael fatally shot Arbery, who was unarmed.
In November, a jury found the three men guilty on multiple murder counts, among other charges. Travis McMichael was found guilty on all charges, including malice murder, four counts of felony murder, two counts of aggravated assault, false imprisonment and criminal attempt to commit a felony. Gregory McMichael, who rode armed in the bed of a pickup truck as his son chased Arbery, is guilty on all charges except malice murder. Bryan, who joined and filmed the pursuit, is guilty on three counts of felony murder, one count of aggravated assault, false imprisonment and criminal attempt to commit a felony. The jury cleared Bryan of charges of malice murder, felony murder involving aggravated assault with a firearm and the count of aggravated assault with a firearm.
Many activists and civil rights leaders viewed the verdict as a hard-earned victory, as the case saw no arrests until two months after Arbery’s death, when video footage of the killing went viral and sparked national outrage.