Travis McMichael, Gregory McMichael, and William "Roddie" Bryan, all three of the defendants in the murder of Ahmaud Arbery, have been found guilty. The verdict was delivered on Wednesday afternoon, per CBS News. All three of the men face minimum sentences of life in prison.
Arbery, a 25-year-old Black man, was shot to death in February 2020 while jogging in the Brunswick, Georgia, neighborhood. In footage captured by Bryan on a cellphone, the men could be seen chasing Arbery and then cornering him with their pickup trucks. Arbery was then shot by Travis McMichael at close range three times. Travis McMichael was convicted on all counts against him, including the charge of malice murder. Both Gregory McMichael, Travis' father, and Bryan were convicted on felony murder charges.
The graphic footage of the killing was released two months after the incident occurred. It sparked widespread outrage, as the public learned that none of the three men had been arrested for their roles in the ordeal. Gregory and Travis McMichael were subsequently arrested on May 7, 2020, on charges of murder and aggravated assault. Bryan was arrested weeks later on May 21 and charged with felony murder and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment.
As previously stated, the men all face minimum sentences of life in prison. It will be up to the judge to determine whether they will have the possibility of parole. A sentencing date has not been scheduled yet. But, the men will all face trial once again in 2022 for separate charges. Travis McMichael, Gregory McMichael, and Bryan are facing federal hate crimes. That trial will begin on Feb. 7, 2022.
"The verdict today was a verdict based on the facts, based on the evidence, and that was our goal, was to bring that to that jury so that they could do the right thing, because the jury system works in this country," Linda Dunikoski, the lead prosecutor in the case, told reporters outside the courthouse after the verdict was announced. "And when you present the truth to people and they can see it, they will do the right thing, and that's what this jury did today in getting justice for Ahmaud Arbery."
Arbery's mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, also released a statement after the verdicts were revealed. She said outside the courthouse, "It's been a long fight. It's been a hard fight. But God is good. He will now rest in peace." Cooper-Jones also stated that she "never thought this day would come."