A Georgia jury on Wednesday found all three men charged in the death of Ahmaud Arbery guilty of multiple counts of murder.
The jury found Travis McMichael, who fatally shot Arbery on Feb. 23, 2020, in a Brunswick, Ga., neighborhood, guilty of all nine counts brought against him, including malice murder.
His father Gregory McMichael, who was with him at the time of the shooting, was found guilty of four counts of felony murder, two counts of aggravated assault, one count of false imprisonment and one count of criminal attempt to commit a felony.
William “Roddie” Bryan, who recorded the incident, was found guilty of three counts of felony murder, one count of aggravated assault, one count of false imprisonment and one count of criminal attempt to commit a felony
: one count of malice murder, four counts of felony murder, two counts of aggravated assault, one count of false imprisonment and one criminal attempt to commit a felony in connection to Arbery’s slaying.
The jury began deliberating on Tuesday.
No one denied that Travis McMichael shot Arbery, a 25-year-old Black man who was running through a neighborhood at the time. Travis and Gregory McMichael, both of whom were armed, were chasing Arbery in a pickup truck after he departed a house that was under construction.
But defense lawyers representing the McMichaels argued they were following Arbery in accordance with Georgia’s now-repealed citizen’s arrest law because they believed he was fleeing a crime scene. An attorney for Travis McMichael also argued that his client acted out of self defense when he opened fire because he feared for his life.
As the two trucks chasing closed in on him, the Arbery charged at Travis McMichael. McMichael shot Arbery three times as the 25-year-old tried to reach for his shotgun.
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) signed a bill repealing the state’s citizen’s arrest law in May.
Bryan, who joined the chase from his own truck, captured the incident on camera. The case received national attention after the video was leaked in May 2020.
Bryan’s lawyer sought to distance his client from the McMichaels, contending that he did not know a crime was taking place when he joined the chase for Arbery and started recording.
The prosecution, however, made the case that the three defendants’ actions were not justified because they did not have evidence that Arbery committed a crime.
Prosecutor Linda Dunikoski said the McMichaels and Bryan attacked Arbery “because he was a Black man running down their street.”
Members of the Congressional Black Caucus hailed the jury’s decision shortly after the verdict was read on Wednesday.
Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-Ohio), the chairwoman of the group, said “justice has been served.”
“This story – although devastating – is not new; we’ve seen this play out repeatedly. Vigilantes acting with racial animus take the lives of Black men and boys, and claim self-defense when confronted with the consequences of their actions. Travis McMichael; his father, Gregory McMichael; and William Bryan are criminals who deserve to be punished for their role(s) in murdering 25-year-old, Mr. Ahmaud Arbery,” Beatty said in a statement.
“Simply put, none of these criminals had any concrete knowledge Mr. Arbery committed any crime on the day they murdered him. Further, the vitriol and racist tropes invoked by the defense to justify their client(s) illegally detaining, filming, and committing murder were applauding and extremely offensive,” she added.
Original Article: All 3 men in Arbery killing found guilty of murder (msn.com)