HomeNewsCrime & CourtsAhmaud Arbery’s murderers receive life sentences

Ahmaud Arbery’s murderers receive life sentences

Author

Date

by Dave Williams | Jan 7, 2022 | Capitol Beat News Service

ATLANTA – The father and son convicted of murdering Black jogger Ahmaud Arbery nearly two years ago near Brunswick were sentenced Friday to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

In a case that received national attention and led to an overhaul of Georgia’s citizens arrest law, a third defendant received life with a chance for parole in 30 years based on the prosecution’s recommendation.

Arbery, 25, was shot to death in February 2020 after Greg McMichael and his son, Travis, chased him down a street in the Satilla Shores neighborhood in a pickup truck after observing him on the property of a nearby home under construction.

With the help of William “Roddie” Bryan, who drove a second truck, the men cornered Arbery, and Travis McMichael pulled the trigger.

The three were convicted of a range of murder charges last November by a jury made up of 11 white jurors and one Black juror.

Before Friday’s sentencing, Arbery’s parents and sister asked Superior Court Judge Timothy Walmsley to impose the maximum sentence on the defendants.

“They were fully committed to the crime,” said Wanda Cooper-Jones, Arbery’s mother. “Let them be fully committed to the consequences.”

In imposing the maximum sentence on the McMichaels, Walmsley said neither showed any remorse for the murder. The judge cited Greg McMichael’s threats to Arbery heard on a video of the crime shot by Bryan and the “chilling, truly disturbing” picture of Travis McMichael taking aim at Arbery with a shotgun.

“The record speaks for itself,” Walmsley said. “Ahmaud Arbery was hunted down and shot. He was killed because individuals in this courtroom took the law into their own hands. … Taking the law into your own hands is a dangerous endeavor.”

Gov. Brian Kemp and the General Assembly reacted to the McMichaels’ vigilantism last year with a bill essentially repealing Georgia’s 19th-century citizens arrest law.

Owners of retail shops and restaurants are still permitted to detain shoplifters on their premises, while police officers who are off-duty or outside their jurisdiction can make arrests if they witness a crime or have knowledge a crime was recently committed.

In sentencing Bryan to life with a possibility of parole after 30 years, Walmsley said the third defendant did demonstrate remorse by showing he had “grave concerns” about the killing at the crime scene. However, Bryan still shared responsibility for the murder by blocking Arbery’s escape with his truck, the judge said.

The three defendants also are facing federal hate-crime charges, with a trial set to begin next month.

This story is available through a news partnership with Capitol Beat News Service, a project of the Georgia Press Educational Foundation.

3 COMMENTS

Recent posts

Recent comments

NancyBlumenthal on “Augusta” By David Sirull
Kelly Wagner on Another homicide in Augusta
Juliann McCraney on Column: Faith: Ups and downs
Robert Schloesser on Saga with Gold Cross EMS continues
Thomas Yarbrough on Garnett Johnson: In his own words
Tedd Antonacci on OPINION: Letter to the editor
Charmain Brackett on Reoccurring Members
Charmain Brackett on Short Getaways: Edisto Beach
Russell Smeak on Short Getaways: Edisto Beach
Trudy Edwards on Short Getaways: Edisto Beach
Gay Wright on Reoccurring Members
Russell Smeak on Short Getaways: Edisto Beach
Charmain Brackett on Short Getaways: Edisto Beach
Charmain Brackett on Short Getaways: Edisto Beach
Russell Smeak on Short Getaways: Edisto Beach
Thomas Plowden on Short Getaways: Edisto Beach
Charmain Brackett on Man struck by train Thursday
Thomas Yarbrough on Man struck by train Thursday
Tedd Antonacci on Man struck by train Thursday
Dennis Perry on FAITH: Our Only Hope
Robert Turbyfill on Column: Serene18 – take two
Leonard Zimmerman Jr on In The Kitchen With Vera: Oh Honey
Tedd Antonacci on Bomb threat suspect in custody
Frank Bush on FAITH: A Great Lady
Judy Wheeler on FAITH: A Great Lady
Robert Green on Kemp signs tax cut bill
Dan Barnett on FAITH: The Turtle
William Speer on Whither Ukraine?
Sherri Jones Rivers on FAITH: The Turtle
Judy Wheeler on FAITH: The Turtle
Doug Herman on Whither Ukraine?
Phillip Williams on Column: Electing judges
John Mulherin on Column: Electing judges
Sarah Scott on Column: Electing judges
Thomas Yarbrough on XPR Augusta Concerts Canceled
Bill Lesshafft on XPR Augusta Concerts Canceled
Amanda Main on FAITH: The Covid Effect
Tedd Antonacci on XPR Augusta Concerts Canceled
Rev. Bill Harrell on FAITH: The Covid Effect
Jackie VOSS on FAITH: The Covid Effect
Penny Danner on FAITH: The Covid Effect
Rabbi David Sirull on FAITH: The Covid Effect