On Wednesday, a Georgia grand jury indicted Travis McMichael, Greg McMichael and William “Roddie” Bryan Jr. on murder charges in the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery.
According to CNN, the charges also include aggravated assault, false imprisonment and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment. The jury that indicted the three men were enlisted prior to the judicial emergency that allows the courts to be open for critical and essential court services, only.
Arbery was killed on February 23, a few short weeks before the country went into lockdown because of the coronavirus pandemic. The man responsible for his death shot him in cold blood as he was jogging through a Brunswick, Georgia neighborhood.
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Arbery’s case was obscured from mainstream media until late April when a New York Times article detailed the case. Shortly after the publication, video of his lynching went public, sparking protests in the Georgia community where he lost his life. Travis and Gregory McMichael were eventually arrested. Bryan’s arrest followed weeks later.
According to investigators, Bryan, the man responsible for the video recording of Arbery’s death is also believed to have used his truck to “confine and detain” Arbery a number of times leading up to the final moments the world witnessed on video.
Arbery was eventually shot three times — twice in the chest — as he tried to fight off his assailants. An agent with the Georgia Burea of Investigations testified that Arbery likely felt he had to fight the men off with his bare hands because he could not escape them.
Attorneys for all three men say their clients are not guilty and that evidence will vindicate them. Until then the men will be held in a Glynn County jail where they are being held without bond.
Cobb District Attorney Joyette M. Holmes said at a press conference announcing the indictment, “We will continue to be intentional in the pursuit of justice for this family and the community at large as the prosecution of this case continues.”