Ahmaud Arbery trial: All 3 accused found GUILTY of killing Black jogger
BRUNSWICK, GEORGIA: All the three accused in the Ahmaud Arbery murder trial were found guilty on multiple charges for killing the 25-year-old Black man when he was out jogging on the streets. Father-son duo Travis and Gregory McMichael, and their neighbor William 'Roddie' Bryan Jr. shot dead Ahmaud Arbery on February 23, 2020, in Brunswick after the McMichaels chased him with their truck. Bryan reportedly joined the McMichaels as they chased the victim and helped them trail him. He also captured the video of the killing on his cellphone that eventually got leaked, sparking national outrage. The jury at Glynn County, Georgia delivered the verdict after more than ten and a half hours of deliberation.
All three of them originally faced the same nine charges, which included — 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 intent to commit a felony. Travis , who actually shot Arbery dead with his 12-gauge shotgun, was found guilty in all the nine charges he was facing. His father Gregory was pronounced guilty on eight of the nine charges while Bryan Jr. was convicted on six of the original nine charges. The charge of aggravated assault against Bryan was recently reduced to simple assault, reckless conduct or reckless driving.
You can watch the verdict being delivered here
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Both Bryan and the McMichaels were also charged with felony murder indicating that the victim died while they were committing a felony act even though murder was not pre-planned. All of them had pleaded not guilty to the charges against them while their defense attorneys put forward the argument of self-defense.
However, prosecutors as well as Arbery's family insisted that it was an act of racial hate and Arbery was targetted by three White men for being Black. In fact, his murder became a crucial rallying point in the Black Lives Matter protests of 2020. In June 2020, the prosecutors for the case stated in court that the alleged killers Gregory and Travis McMichael had used the N-word to abuse Arbery after shooting him.
Gregory, a 65-year-old former police officer, his son Travis, 35, and Bryan, 51, were taken into custody in May 2020. Gregory had been stripped of his law enforcement certification and power to arrest a year before he reportedly killed Ahmaud Arbery. He had worked in the past for the Glynn County Police Department and the Brunswick Judicial Circuit, both of which had jurisdiction over the Satilla Shores neighborhood where Arbery was killed.
His son, Travis, who discharged the shots at Arbery, had earlier served in the Coast Guard. He had used anti-Black racial slurs on multiple occasions. He even texted a friend "shooting a crackhead [C-word] with gold teeth" after Arbery's death, though his friend bizarrely claimed that Travis was referring to a raccoon.
Meanwhile, Bryan Jr is the subject of investigation in a sex crime by GBI, in addition to the killing of Arbery. "On Wednesday, July 15, 2020, the Glynn County Police Department requested that the GBI initiate a sex crimes investigation based on allegations made against William “Roddie” Bryan, Jr. The investigation is active and ongoing," stated a release by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation though the details of the case have not been revealed.