Three men in Ahmaud Arbery case to be sentenced on hate crime charges

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(BRUNSWICK, Ga.) — The three men convicted of hate crimes in the death of 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery will be sentenced Monday.

Gregory McMichael; his son, Travis McMichael; and their neighbor, William “Roddie” Bryan each face life sentences after being convicted by a federal jury in February. The jury decided that the three white men followed and killed Arbery because he was Black.

The U.S. District Court jury reached its decision just one day before the second anniversary of Arbery’s Feb. 23, 2020, murder near Brunswick, Georgia.

After deliberating for less than four hours, the jury convicted all three men of being motivated by racial hate in interference of Arbery’s civil rights, and attempted kidnapping. Travis McMichael, 36, and his 64-year-old father were also convicted of carrying and brandishing a weapon during the commission of a crime of violence.

Travis McMichael, who fired the fatal shot, was also found guilty of discharging a firearm in relation to a crime of violence.

The McMichaels chased Arbery in their pickup truck after they saw him jogging in their neighborhood, falsely believing he had been responsible for several break-ins in the Satilla Shores neighborhood. Bryan joined the chase in his own truck, blocking Arbery from escaping and recorded cellphone footage of Travis McMichael shooting Arbery with a shotgun after a brief struggle.

During the trial, prosecutors released text messages and social media posts in which Travis McMichael and Bryan repeatedly used racist slurs. Witnesses also testified to hearing both McMichaels make racist comments.

All three defendants are already serving life in prison for the killing after being found guilty of murder in a Georgia state court last fall.

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