ATLANTA — The killing was videotaped and shared around the world: Ahmaud Arbery sprints towards and then around an idle pickup truck before its driver detonates it at close range with a shotgun.
Shortly after Travis McMichael fatally shot Arbery on February 23, 2020, his father Greg McMichael told police how the two armed themselves, chased the young Black man and trapped him “like a mouse”. Neighbor William ‘Roddie’ Bryan told officers he had joined the pursuit and helped intercept Arbery’s escape.
After a 13-day trial at the Glynn County courthouse on the Georgia coast, a disproportionately white jury found three white men guilty of murder. Each man was also convicted on lesser charges.
WHAT RESPONSIBILITIES WAS EACH MAN?
In a nine-number indictment, all three persons were charged with one deliberate manslaughter, four grievous murders, two aggravated assaults, one false imprisonment and one attempted crime, in this case false imprisonment.
Travis McMichael was found guilty on all nine charges. Greg McMichael was found guilty of all charges except malicious murder. Bryan was found guilty of two counts of felony murder, one count of aggravated assault, one false imprisonment, and one attempted felony.
HOW MUCH PRISON DO THEY EXPERIENCE?
Bad faith and felony murder convictions both carry a minimum life sentence. The judge decides whether this is accompanied by the possibility of parole. Even if parole is granted, a person convicted of murder must serve 30 years before becoming eligible. Multiple murder convictions are combined for the purpose of sentencing.
Murder is also punishable by death in Georgia if the murder meets certain criteria and the prosecutor chooses to seek the death penalty. In this case, prosecutors did not.
Each aggravated assault carries a prison sentence of at least one year, but not more than 20 years. Wrongful imprisonment is punishable by imprisonment from 1 year to 10 years.
WHEN WILL THEY BE PUNISHED?
This is not clear yet. Supreme Court Justice Timothy Walmsley will set a sentencing date.
WILL THERE BE APPLICATIONS?
In this case, appeals are almost certain, said University of Georgia law professor emeritus Ron Carlson.
A possible basis for an appeal could be the removal of certain evidence from the trial, he said. Defense attorneys had sought to provide evidence that Arbery had a criminal record, mental health records, and was on parole. They also asked a force use expert to testify. However, the judge decided that none of this evidence should be admitted.
“They will argue that the relevant evidence that would aid the defense was rejected by the trial judge and that it was a mistake,” Carlson said.
It is also possible for appellate lawyers to come up with other grounds for appeal after reviewing transcripts and jury instructions and talking to jurors.
STILL NO FEDERAL FEES ON STANDING?
Yeah. McMichaels and Bryan still face federal charges.
In April, months before the trio were tried on state murder charges, a federal grand jury indicted them on hate crime charges. A completely separate case unaffected by the outcome of the state case.
U.S. District Court Judge Lisa Godbey Wood scheduled jury selection in the federal case to begin February 7. All three men are charged with civil rights interference and attempted kidnapping. McMichaels was also charged with using, carrying and swinging a firearm during a violent crime.
The federal indictment says the men targeted Arbery because he was Black.
Associated Press writer Russ Bynum of Brunswick, Georgia contributed to this report. Find all the AP news about the case: https://apnews.com/hub/ahmaud-arbery