Ahmaud Arbery case: Sentencing underway for federal hate crime charges
Written by Kiara Alfonseca and Emily Shapiro ABC News on August 8, 2022
(BRUNSWICK, Ga.) — Sentencing is underway for the three men convicted of federal hate crimes in the death of 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery.
Travis McMichael, who fired the fatal shot on Feb. 23, 2020, was sentenced Monday to life in prison.
His father, Gregory McMichael, and their neighbor, William “Roddie” Bryan could also face life sentences. They’ll be sentenced Monday afternoon at the Brunswick, Georgia, courthouse.
The three white men were convicted in February by a federal jury who decided that they followed and killed Arbery because he was Black.
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 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.
Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.