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Friday, December 3, 2021

The trio are guilty of the murder of Ahmaud Arbury. Now what?


ATLANTA (AP) – The murder was filmed and spread around the world: Ahmaud Arbury runs towards an idle pickup truck and then around it before being shot at close range by his driver with a shotgun.

Shortly after Travis McMichael fatally shot Arbury on February 23, 2020, his father, Greg McMichael, told police how the couple armed themselves, chased the young black and caught him “like a rat.” Neighbor William “Roddy” Brian told the officers that he had joined the chase and helped prevent Arbury’s escape.

After a 13-day trial at the Glynn County Courthouse in coastal Georgia, a disproportionately large white jury found three white men guilty of murder. Each man was convicted on less severe charges.


In a nine-count indictment, all three were charged with one count of murder, four counts of murder, two counts of aggravated assault, one count of false imprisonment and one count of attempted murder. a crime, in this case a false imprisonment.

Travis McMichael was found guilty on all nine counts. Greg McMichael was convicted on all charges except premeditated murder. Brian was convicted of three counts of murder, one count of aggravated assault, one count of false imprisonment and one count of attempted crime.


Convictions for premeditated murder and felony carry a minimum sentence of life in prison. The judge decides if it comes with or without parole. Even if parole is granted, a person convicted of murder must serve 30 years before being eligible for it. At sentencing, multiple murder charges are combined.

Murder can also be punishable by death in Georgia if the murder meets certain criteria and the prosecutor decides to seek the death penalty. There is no prosecutor’s office in this case.

Each aggravated assault charge carries a prison sentence of at least one year, but not more than 20 years. False imprisonment is punishable by imprisonment for a term of one to ten years.


It’s not clear yet. Supreme Court Justice Timothy Walmsley will set a sentencing date.


According to Ron Carlson, emeritus professor of law at the University of Georgia, appeals in this case are almost guaranteed.

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According to him, one of the possible grounds for appeal may be the exclusion of some evidence from the trial. Defense attorneys sought to provide evidence of Arbury’s criminal record, data on his mental health and the fact that he was on probation. They also wanted an expert on the use of force to testify. But the judge ruled not to accept any of this evidence.

“They will argue that the relevant evidence useful for the defense was excluded by the trial judge and that it was a mistake,” Carlson said.

It is also possible that appellate attorneys may be able to find other grounds for appeal after reviewing the jury’s transcripts and instructions, and speaking with the jury.

Robert Rubin and Jason Sheffield, Travis McMichael’s attorneys, said after the verdict that they plan to appeal. Sheffield said they have no qualms about looking into the community where Arbury was killed instead of trying to move him elsewhere. But he said, “This can certainly be part of the appeal.”


Yes. McMichels and Brian continue to face federal charges.

Months before the three were brought to trial on state murder charges, they were charged with hate crimes in April by a federal grand jury. This is a completely separate case and will not be affected by the outcome of the state’s litigation.

US District Court Judge Lisa Godby Wood has set a jury election in a federal trial for February 7. All three were charged with one count of civil rights violations and attempted kidnapping. McMichaels have also been charged with using, carrying and possessing a firearm during a violent crime.

The federal indictment says people target Arbury because he was black.


This story was first published on November 24, 2021. It was updated on November 25, 2021 to correct that William “Roddy” Brian was convicted on three counts of murder, not two.


Associated Press writer Russ Bynum of Brunswick, Georgia contributed to this report. Find all AP articles on this case: https://apnews.com/hub/ahmaud-arbery

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