The jury found three people guilty for the murder of Ahmaud Arbery. Travis McMichael, who shot the person, was also found guilty of one type of murder. His father and neighbor were found guilty of a different type of murder.
Arbery was a man who died. He was jogging in the neighborhood when people saw him and chased him with their truck. A fight happened, and someone shot him with a shotgun. The first guilty verdict was read out loud. People in the public gallery were heard gasping. Arbery, the father of Ahmaud Arbery, said, “Long time coming.” After that, he had to be told by security to leave the courtroom. Judge Walmsley reminded people in the room that they needed to remain silent during the reading of verdicts in order not to affect the jury’s decision-making process.
Travis McMichael looked red-faced when he was leaving the courtroom. He mouthed the words “love you” to his mother.
The Associated Press reports that the three men are facing life in prison. The judge will decide whether they get parole or not.
A sentencing date has not been decided yet. The jury in today’s case did the right thing. We wanted them to see the truth, and they found it. The jury system works in this country when you give people the facts and show them what happened.
“I am so happy that God is good,” Arbery’s mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, said at a news conference after the verdict. She added that her son will now rest in peace.
McMichaels and Bryan are facing federal hate crimes charges. They will have a trial on February 7, 2022.
The defense for the three men who were accused of murder claimed they acted under the state’s “Citizen’s Arrest” law which was in effect at the time. But this law has since been repealed. They argued that they had a right to defend themselves against someone who might have been involved in burglaries in their neighborhood and chose to fight back.
The prosecution said that three men had no reason to chase down and confront Arbery.
“All three of these people made assumptions about what was happening when they attacked the Black man. They thought he was running because he was scared.”
Arbery had gone inside a house that was under construction. Nothing had been taken from the house before. When the police started to chase him, they did not know if he had done anything wrong or if he was just walking around. Arbery was trying to get away from people who were yelling at him and threatening to kill him. But they killed him anyway.
Travis McMichael took the stand. The jury heard what he had to say. He said that he had heard about break-ins in the neighborhood and had seen a Black man before. He testified that the man might have been “lurking” or “creeping.”
He said that when his father saw Arbery, they drove up and asked him questions. When the confrontation happened, he was forced to make a split-second decision. He felt like Arbery would try to take away his shotgun, so he shot him.
He said this was the most traumatic event in his life. But, McMichael admitted that Arbery was just running and did not threaten them. The other two people who were on trial did not speak.
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