Murder convictions were slammed on Wednesday against the three white men charged in Ahmaud Arbery killing which became one of the bigger national decisions on racial justice.
Jurors have spent about ten hours convicting Greg McMichael, his son Travis, and neighbor William “Roddie” Bryan, who all face minimum jail terms. The possibility of parole will depend on the decision of the judge, KRON4 reported.
Accompanied by his lawyer, Travis McMichael appeared to hear the reading of the verdicts. His mother was also inside the courtroom, whom Travis mouthed to “love you” as he left.
Marcus Arbery, Sr., Ahmaud’s father, shed tears as he hugged supporters following the announcement of the verdicts.
“He didn’t do nothing,” he said, “but run and dream.”
Last year, Ahmaud ran in a neighborhood outside Brunswick, a port city in Georgia, when he was pursued by the two McMichaels with a gun.
The two used a pickup truck to go after Arbery. Then, another suspect, Bryan, also joined the chase using his own vehicle. Travis McMichael shot Arbery. The incident was caught by Bryan through a cell phone video, which circulated online after a couple of months.
The suspects were charged with hate crimes according to the ruling of the federal authorities despite that prosecutors did not argue that the killing might be pushed with racism. Federal authorities cited that Arbery was killed because he was Black.
The said case is set to go to trial in February.
According to defense attorneys, the McMichaels pursued Arbery for a legal citizen’s arrest, saying that Arbery was suspected to be a burglar after he ran from a home undergoing construction nearby.
In his testimony, Travis said he shot the Arbery in self-defense. He claimed that Arbery used his fists for an attack as he passed through the truck where Travis was.
But there was no proof that Arbery was behind any crimes in the neighborhood, prosecutors said. The victim was attending a technical college to become an electrician.