Arbery's sister, who was present at the sentencing hearing, spoke of her brother's humor and described him as a positive thinker with big personality. She said to the judge that her brother had dark skin, thick curly hair, and an athletic build. These characteristics made him attractive to men who wanted him.
These are the characteristics that made Ahmaud suspect that he was a dangerous criminal, and they chased Ahmaud with guns drawn. Jasmine Arbery stated that those qualities are indicative of a young man who was full of energy and life, much like me and the people I loved.
Murder is punishable by a life sentence in Georgia prison unless the prosecution seeks the death penalty. They chose against Arbery's murder. Timothy Walmsley, Superior Court Judge, will decide whether to grant Travis McMichael, father, and Travis McMichael, and William Bryan, a chance to eventually earn parole.
Arbery's mother requested the maximum sentence because she had suffered a severe loss and was made more difficult by the trial in which the men were defending Arbery. They claimed that Arbery made poor choices that ultimately led to his death.
"This was not a case mistaken identity or mistaken truth. They targeted my son because they didn’t want him to be in their community. Wanda Cooper-Jones stated that they chose to treat him differently from other people who frequent their community. "And when they couldn’t sufficiently scare him or intimidate him they killed him."
Linda Dunikoski, the prosecutor, asked the judge to grant Travis and Greg McMichael life sentences without parole and Bryan parole. She said that all of them deserved a mandatory life sentence because they showed "no empathy for Ahmaud Arbery's trapped and terrified."
Regardless of whether parole is granted by the judge, any sentence can be considered harsh. Bryan and McMichaels will each have to spend at least 30 years in prison before parole is granted.
Travis McMichael is 35 years old. The possibility of parole could be a chance for him to be released from prison in his 60s. Robert Rubin, one his defense attorneys, stated that this would mean Travis McMichael's release from prison. According to Rubin, Travis McMichael fired only after Mr. He claimed that Travis McMichael opened fire only after "Mr.
Greg McMichael turned 66 recently, while Bryan is 52. This raises the likelihood that Bryan and Greg will spend their remaining lives in prison, even if they are granted parole.
For those who saw Arbery’s death as part a larger national reckoning about racial injustice, the victory celebration was held outside the Glyn County courthouse.
The three men were also convicted for aggravated assault and false imprisonment, as well as criminal attempt to violate false imprisonment. These charges carry a maximum sentence of five to twenty years in prison. These additional penalties could be combined with the murder life sentence by the judge.
After spotting Arbery running through their neighborhood in Brunswick, Georgia on February 23, 2020, the McMichaels grabbed guns from him and took off in a pickup truck to pursue him. Bryan joined the chase in his truck and captured cellphone video of Travis McMichael firing close range shotgun shots into Arbery while he threw punches, grabbed the weapon.
Two months later, the public saw the graphic video online. This triggered a national outcry. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation quickly took control of the case and arrested all three suspects.
Arbery was an enrolled student at a technical college, and was about to begin his studies to become an electrician like his uncles.
Defense lawyers have stated that they intend to appeal the convictions. They have 30 days to file the appeals after they are sentenced.
The McMichaels & Bryan will face a second trial next month in U.S District Court, on federal hate crime charges. The jury selection will begin February 7, according to a judge. Prosecutors argue that Arbery was violated by the men and that they targeted him because of his Blackness.