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Father, son killers of Arbery get another life sentence


From left to right, Travis McMichael, William "Roddie" Bryan, and Gregory McMichael. Associated Press

Father, son killers of Arbery get another life sentence

U.S. District Court Judge Lisa Godbey Wood on Monday sentenced Travis and Gregory McMichael to life in prison for committing a federal hate crime. This is on top of another pair of life sentences from a Georgia court earlier this year. In February 2020, Travis and his father armed themselves and with a third white man chased down Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old black man, in a Georgia neighborhood where Travis shot Arbery to death. The McMichaels had said three of them suspected Arbery of burglaries in the neighborhood, but investigators said Arbery was unarmed and had committed no crime. William “Roddie” Bryan, 52, who recorded cellphone video of the slaying and helped chase Arbery, was sentenced to 35 years in prison on top of his previous life sentence.

Will the McMichaels go to federal prison? Both of the McMichaels had requested to be kept in federal custody, and Bryan had also requested to serve his federal sentence first, but all three requests were denied. Travis McMichael’s lawyer argued that a Georgia prison sentence is a death sentence, and said he’s already gotten hundreds of death threats. Wood said she didn’t have the authority to order Georgia to release Travis McMichael into federal custody, and that she wasn’t inclined to do so. She also said that Travis McMichael had a fair trial—unlike Arbery.

Dig deeper: Read Charissa Koh’s report in Compassion about how cases like Ahmaud Arbery’s sparked pushes for reform in 2021.


Mary Muncy

Mary Muncy is a breaking news reporter for WORLD. She graduated from World Journalism Institute and Patrick Henry College.

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