After almost two years since his murder on February 23, 2020, the three white men who chased and killed Ahmaud Arbery, the unarmed 25-year-old Black jogger, were sentenced to life in prison.

All three men were convicted of murder and other charges by a Glynn County jury in November 2021.

Ahead of sentencing on Friday morning, during victim impact statements, Arbery’s family asked a judge to show no leniency. The family also rejected a plea deal on federal charges.

Under Georgia law, murder carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison unless prosecutors seek the death penalty, which they opted against for Arbery’s killing. 

While Judge Timothy Walmsley ordered both McMichales, Travis, 35, and Gregory, 66, to serve life without parole, William “Roddie” Bryan, 52, the man who recorded the murder on his cellphone, was granted a chance of parole, but must serve at least 30 years in prison first.

Loading the player…

During sentencing Judge Walmsley called Arbery’s killing “callous.” The judge continued, “He left his home to go for a run and ended up running for his life.”

Before exiting the court, prosecutor Linda Dunikoski requested that the three men “are not allowed to make any money off of their actions, such as a book deal, a movie deal, social media deal or anything along any way, shape or form make any money off of this experience, this conviction, and this trial.”

Dunikoski added if “any money be made, that it go into a fund for the Arbery family.” 

Kevin Gough, the attorney for Bryan, brought up his concerns against the request, inquiring how Bryan would be able to fund an appeal. Judge Timothy Walmsley told Dunikoski to submit a formal request to the court and he would review it. 

The defense attorneys have said they plan to appeal the convictions. 

Next month, the McMichaels and Bryan face a second trial, in the U.S. District Court on federal hate crime charges. Prosecutors will argue that the three men violated Arbery’s civil rights and was targeted because he was Black.

TOPICS: 

Loading the player...