All three defendants were found guilty in the murder of 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery who was shot and killed after jogging through a Georgia neignboorhood in February of 2020.
On Feb. 23, 2020 Arbery was jogging through the Satilla Shores Neighborhood in Glynn County when Greg and Travis McMichael, father-son duo, targeted and pursued Arbery in a Ford F-150 pickup truck. William “Roddie” Bryan, who filmed the encounter, later met up with two other defendants in the pursuit in his own vehicle.
After the defendants cornered Arbery on the street with a shotgun, Travis McMichael approached Arbery where both struggled for the gun and eventually, Arbery was shot in the chest and left for dead in the street.
Despite the defendants pleading not guilty and claiming self-defense, 35-year-old Travis McMichael, who shot Arbery, was found guilty of all nine charges.
The majority white jury found Travis guilty of one count of malice 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.
And 65-year-old Greg McMichael was found not guilty of malice murder, the jury found him guilty of the other eight charges.
And while 52-year-old William Bryan was found not guilty of malice murder, one count of aggravated assault, and one count of felony murder, the jury found him guilty of the other six charges.
Controversy surrounding this case started earlier last year after Brunswick County prosecutors at the time waited 74 days after Arbery’s death before even arresting or charging any of the defendants. Only after months of media, protests, and public pressure did they charge the three defendants.
Notably, Greg McMichael was a former police officer in the area and worked with the district attorney’s office.
Texas Attorney General Candidate and Arbery Family Attorney Lee Merritt praised Arbery’s mother who in reality was the lead champion in the fight for justice for her son.
“18 months ago when she learned of the murder of her son they told her that she would have to deal with it alone. They told her that there would be no arrest, that there would be no accountability, that there would be no justice,” Merritt said. “And she made her son a promise before she laid him in the ground that his mom would fight for justice for him.”
Arbery’s mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones said this in a press conference after the verdict was read:
“It’s been a long fight, it’s been a hard fight, but God is good,” Jones said. “To tell you the truth I never saw this day back in 2020. I never thought this day would come, but God is good. Thank you for those who marched and those who prayed most of all those who prayed. Now Quez, which you know as Ahmaud, I know him as Quez, he will now rest in peace.”
Kennedy is a recent graduate of the University of St.Thomas in Houston where she served as Editor-in-Chief of the Celt Independent. Kennedy brings her experience of writing about social justice issues to the Texas Signal where she serves as our Political Reporter. She does everything from covering crime beats, Texas politics, and community activism. Kennedy is a passionate reporter, avid reader, coffee enthusiast, and loves to travel.