BRUNSWICK, Ga. — A jury found three white Georgia men guilty of murder and other charges in the fatal shooting of Ahmaud Arbery early last year.
Travis McMichael who shot the shots was found guilty of nine criminal charges including four counts of felony and malice murder.
His father, Gregory McMichael, was found not guilty of malice murder but guilty of felony murder and all other charges.
Their neighbor, William “Roddie” Bryan, who recorded video of the killing, was found guilty of three counts felony murder, one count aggravated assault, false imprisonment and criminal attempt to commit a felony. He was not found guilty of malice murder or one count each of felony murder and aggravated assault.
As the jury entered the courtroom, Al Sharpton held the hands of Arbery’s parents, Marcus Arbery and Wanda Cooper-Jones. Al Sharpton held Arbery’s parents Wanda Cooper-Jones in her hands as jurors entered. Cooper-Jones offered a silent prayer before the judge began to read out the verdict.
As the verdicts were read out, cheers erupted and people hugged one another. Order was called by the deputies. Travis McMichael mouthed “love you” to his mother, who was crying.
Wanda Cooper Jones sobbed in the corridor outside of the courtroom. “We finally got justice,” she said as supporters embraced her.
Recap:Below are some key moments in the Ahmaud Abery trial.
On February 23, 2020, the men were arrested and charged with murder as well as other offenses in relation to their fatal shooting. Bryan recorded the incident on his cellphone and publicized it to the nation. Bryan was arrested 2 months later.
Prosecutors said Arbery was being “under attack” by white men. They saw Arbery run in their tiny, coastal area and got in trucks to follow him. They claimed that Arbery did not commit any crimes, and was trying to escape during the five-minute chase.
McMichaels defense attorneys painted an image of neighborhood residents worried about the crime rate. They claimed that the father and his son tried to arrest Arbery because they believed he was burglary. Bryan’s attorney said he was a witness who documented the killing.
Race is a key part of this trial. Jurors are asked to give their views on Black Lives Matter or the Confederate flag. A defense attorney attempts to block Rev. as well as national civil rights activists. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson from the courtroom.
However, the jury was not able to hear that the killing was motivated by racism. This is partly due to the fact that prosecutors didn’t need evidence to support the claims of the defendants.
Meanwhile, the demographic makeup of the jury drew scrutiny because it does not mirror Glynn County, where more than 26% of residents are Black. One Black man was on the jury of 12, and even the judge acknowledged “intentional discrimination” in the selection process.
Who sits on the jury?12 people will decide fate of men accused of Arbery’s murder