Three men convicted of murdering Ahmaud Arbery face life in prison at sentencing

Convicted murderers Travis McMichael, Gregory McMichael and William “Roddie” Bryan Jr. will be sentenced Friday in Georgia

Rachel Sharp
Friday 07 January 2022 13:20 GMT
A mural of Ahmaud Arbery who was shot and killed in Brunswick, Georgia, in February 2020
A mural of Ahmaud Arbery who was shot and killed in Brunswick, Georgia, in February 2020 (AP)
Leer en Español

Support truly
independent journalism

Our mission is to deliver unbiased, fact-based reporting that holds power to account and exposes the truth.

Whether $5 or $50, every contribution counts.

Support us to deliver journalism without an agenda.

Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas

Editor

The three white men who murdered Black 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery are facing life in prison at their sentencing, scheduled for Friday.

Travis McMichael, his father Gregory McMichael and their neighbour William “Roddie” Bryan Jr were found guilty of murder at their trial in Brunswick, Georgia, in November.

The three men chased Mr Arbery, who was unarmed, through the Satilla Shores neighbourhood in their pickup trucks before shooting him dead in the road back on 23 February 2020.

Footage of the attack, filmed by Mr Bryan on his smartphone, sent shockwaves around the world and reignited calls for racial justice following the murder of George Floyd.

All three men were charged with nine counts, including one count of 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 false imprisonment.

Travis McMichael, 35, who pulled the trigger and shot Mr Arbery twice at point blank range, was convicted of all nine charges.

Gregory McMichael, 65, was convicted of eight charges, excluding the count of malice murder.

Bryan, 52, was convicted of six charges – three counts of felony murder, one count of aggravated assault, one count of false imprisonment and one count of criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment.

Judge Timothy Walmsley, who presided over their high-profile trial, will sentence the three men at 10am on 7 January at Glynn County Courthouse.

In Georgia, both malice and felony murder charges carry a mandatory minimum sentence of life in prison, so all three men are facing life behind bars.

However, the judge will decide whether or not they must die in prison when he grants them either life with or without the possibility of parole.

A life sentence with the possibility of parole makes a prisoner eligible for release only after they have served a minimum of 30 years. Each murder charge will be served concurrently.

The charges the three men were found guilty of at their state trial
The charges the three men were found guilty of at their state trial (AP)

Murder is also punishable by the death penalty in Georgia, but prosecutors chose not to seek the death penalty in this case.

Each count of aggravated assault carries a sentence of between one and 20 years in prison.

False imprisonment is punishable by one to 10 years in prison and criminal attempt to commit a felony by one to five years in prison.

Judge Walmsley will decide the three men’s fate after hearing from prosecutors and the defence teams. Prosecutors have already said they intend to seek life without parole for all three men.

Mr Arbery’s relatives may also deliver victim impact statements to the court.

The three convicted killers are also facing charges at a separate federal hate crimes trial which is scheduled to begin in February.

They have pleaded not guilty to those charges which also carry punishments of life in prison.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in