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Jury returns murder convictions in Arbery trial

Travis McMichael looks back at his family in the courtroom after the jury convicted him of the murder of Ahmaud Arbery on Wednesday. Associated Press/Photo by Stephen B. Morton

Jury returns murder convictions in Arbery trial

After a day of deliberation, a Georgia jury on Wednesday convicted three white men of murder in the shooting death of a black man they chased through a neighborhood near Brunswick, Ga., in February 2020. Greg McMichael, son Travis McMichael, and neighbor William “Roddie” Bryan said they pursued 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery because they believed he may have committed theft at a local construction job site. The McMichaels chased Arbery in a pickup truck, and Travis, holding a shotgun, confronted him in the street and shot him at close range. Bryan, who helped box Arbery in with his own vehicle, recorded the shooting on his phone. The defendants’ attorneys, who are likely to appeal Wednesday’s verdicts, had argued the three men were simply attempting to make a citizen’s arrest. Travis McMichael claimed he shot Arbery in self-defense after the man tried to attack him with his fists.

What sentences are the three defendants likely to receive? The murder convictions carry a minimum sentence of life in prison. The judge has discretion to offer the possibility of parole, but the defendants will not be able to receive parole until they have served at least 30 years. The men were also convicted of aggravated assault and false imprisonment, charges that carry their own lesser sentences. They still face federal hate crimes charges in a separate federal trial scheduled for February.

Dig deeper: Read Sophia Lee’s report of last year’s summer riots that occurred in response to the deaths of unarmed black Americans.

Daniel James Devine

Daniel is managing editor of WORLD Magazine. He is a World Journalism Institute graduate and a former science and technology reporter. Daniel resides in Indiana.



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You left out the part where Arbery tried to grab the shotgun which is a very relevant issue in the case. You left out the fact that Arbery had been trespassing on the construction job site three times. You left out the fact that there was theft going on near the building site and that is why they were keeping an eye on it. You imply the woke version that they were gunning down a black man because he was black.

Listen to the closing argument of the defense and you see it wasn’t just a black guy running through the neighborhood for exercise. Arbery had been at the job site at suspicious times.


My Two CentsSalty1

Salty, you left out the fact that three white guys with shotguns assumed that a black guy out for a jog was a criminal. You forgot the fact that three white guys with guns called the black guy racist names while they were chasing him. I can assure you that if three guys with guns were chasing me in a pickup and calling me names and telling mento stop, I would use whatever means I have to prevent harm to myself. You forgot the fact that arms and hands are not a fair and equal weapon compared with guns and pick ups. Sorry. This verdict is completely fair and just. The defense attorneys did nothing to help their clients.


It does seem ludicrous to attack anyone armed with a fire arm with .... your fists. The convicted killers however had no basis for assuming the running man was a burglar. I know if I were going to steal anything at a construction site, would I not also have tools, a satchel of some type for the stolen wares and perhaps my own vehicle to stash the contraband in? And do folks burglarize housing sites in broad daylight? Things just don't add up. Initially I thought the friend who provided video evidence of the entire matter must surely have been mentally deficient (one thinks of the Rodney King tape and its impact). But when Mr Bryan used his own vehicle to help box in the slain jogger he became party to the crime. Audio of one of the defendants boasting of killing an N word will no doubt buttress arguments that this event was a hate crime. The local prosecutors who FAILED to take this killing before a Grand Jury (and did so only after the video of the shooting went viral) should have their law licenses revoked.


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Phil WSalty1

What's biased or improperly biased about this? These are the facts. And the verdict was just in my opinion. Even if the intentions of the men were sound, meaning they had the best motives possible, they don't justify their actions. We can't allow people to murder other people out of their own suspicions.


Biased how? Can you show me one sentence that is not factual? Anything that even suggests an opinion as to whether the verdict was right or wrong?