Trio guilty of murder of Ahmaud Arbery. What now? – The Denver Post

Ahmaud Arbery Georgia Trial 47027


ATLANTA (AP) — The murder was captured on video and shared around the world: Ahmaud Arbery ran to and then around an idling pickup truck before the driver shot him at close range with a shotgun.

Shortly after Travis McMichael fatally shot Arbery on Feb. 23, 2020, his father, Greg McMichael, told police how the couple armed themselves, chased the young black man and captured him “like a rat.” Neighbor William “Roddie” Bryan told officers he joined the chase and helped cut off Arbery’s escape.

After a 13-day trial at the Glynn County courthouse on the coast of Georgia, a disproportionately white jury found the three white men guilty of murder. Each man was also convicted on lesser charges.


A nine-count indictment charged all three men with one count of willful murder, four counts of felony murder, two counts of aggravated assault, one count of false imprisonment and one count of criminal attempt to commit a felony, in this case false imprisonment.

Travis McMichael was convicted of all nine charges. Greg McMichael was convicted of all charges except for murder with intent. Bryan was convicted of two counts of felony murder, one count of aggravated assault, one count of false imprisonment, and one count of criminal attempt to commit a felony.


Convictions for malice and felony murder both carry a minimum penalty of life in prison. The judge will decide whether that comes with or without the possibility of early release. Even if the option of parole is granted, a person convicted of murder must serve 30 years before being eligible. Multiple murder convictions are pooled for sentencing.

Murder can also carry the death penalty in Georgia if the murder meets certain criteria and the prosecutor chooses to demand the death penalty. Prosecutors in this case do not.

Each count of aggravated assault carries a prison sentence of at least one year, but not more than 20 years. False imprisonment carries a prison term of one to ten years.


That’s not clear yet. Judge Timothy Walmsley of the Superior Court will set a sentencing date.


Appeal in this case is almost certain, said University of Georgia law professor Ron Carlson.

A likely basis for appeal could be the exclusion of certain evidence from the trial, he said. Defense attorneys had tried to provide evidence of Arbery’s criminal record, records of his mental health and the fact that he was on probation. They also wanted an expert on the use of force to testify. But the judge ruled against admitting any evidence.

“They will argue that relevant evidence useful to the defense was excluded by the investigating judge and that that was an error,” Carlson said.

It is also possible that professional attorneys may find other grounds for appeal after searching transcripts and jury instructions and speaking with jurors.


Yes. The McMichaels and Bryan are still facing federal charges.

Months before the three went on trial on charges of state murder, a federal grand jury indicted them on hate crime charges in April. It is a completely separate matter unaffected by the outcome of the trial.

U.S. District Court Judge Lisa Godbey Wood has scheduled jury selection in the federal trial to begin Feb. 7. All three men are charged with one charge of civil rights interference and attempted kidnapping. The McMichaels were also charged with using, carrying and brandishing a firearm during a violent crime.

According to the federal indictment, the men targeted Arbery because he was black.


Associated Press writer Russ Bynum in Brunswick, Georgia, contributed to this report. Find all of the AP’s coverage of the case:

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