McMichaels, Bryan sentenced for federal hate crimes in Arbery murder

Published: Aug. 8, 2022 at 3:30 AM EDT|Updated: Aug. 8, 2022 at 6:34 PM EDT
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GLYNN COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - The three men convicted of hate crimes in the killing of Ahmaud Arbery were sentenced Monday by a federal judge.

A federal judge sentenced Travis McMichael to life in prison plus 10 years . Gregory McMichael, Travis’ father, was sentenced to life in prison plus seven years. William “Roddie” Bryan was sentenced to 35 years.

All three will continue to serve in state prison and not move to federal prison.

The McMichaels and their neighbor Bryan were convicted of hate crimes in February. A jury in Brunswick, Ga., concluded the three white men chased and killed 25-year-old Arbery because he was Black. All three men were found guilty on federal hate crimes and kidnapping charges.

Based on what family and their representatives said Monday outside the courthouse, they’re pleased with not only the length of each sentence, they’re also happy that all three will have to serve their time in state prison.

Family of Ahmaud Arbery made a plea for that during each of Monday’s three hearings, saying time in federal prison wouldn’t be as difficult.

“Very relieved. I just want to remind you guys it was 74 days before we actually got an arrest. So, think about today…we got convictions on a federal level. So, I’m very thankful because it’s been a long fight, but I’m so thankful that God gave us the strength to continue to fight,” Arbery’s mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones said.

“I knew we were going to get justice for Ahmaud. And we did it, and thank God we did it. And all our supporters who helped us to win this one for Ahmaud, we thank all y’all,” Arbery’s aunt, Diane Jackson said.

Each of the three defendants has 14 days to appeal the sentence.

Ahmaud Arbery’s mother was in Atlanta on Wednesday, the second anniversary of her son’s death,...
Ahmaud Arbery’s mother was in Atlanta on Wednesday, the second anniversary of her son’s death, to commemorate Ahmaud Arbery Day in the state of Georgia.(CBS46)

All three defendants are already serving life in prison for the February 2020 killing after being found guilty of murder in a Georgia state court last fall.

Travis McMichael was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, plus 20 years. Gregory McMichael was also sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, plus 20 years. William “Roddie” Bryan was sentenced to life with the possibility of parole.

Before the federal trial began, a judge rejected plea deals for Greg and Travis McMichael.

District 162 Representative Carl Gilliard released a statement Monday morning saying, “Today marks a pinnacle time in America where Georgia has stepped forward in the unfortunate murder of Ahmaud Arbery. The successful repeal of Georgia’s Citizen arrest law has played a viable role in making sure moving forward that individuals cannot take lives and use this as an excuse anymore. I am praying that the sentencing on today is a statement that the eyes of the nation are on Georgia. As the original author of this bill it shines a light that Georgia is moving forward as a state that is too busy to hate.”

Rep. Gilliard is one of the sponsors of the bill that repealed and replaced Georgia’s citizen’s arrest law. A law that was repealed as a result of Arbery’s murder.

You can review a complete timeline of the Ahmaud Arbery case below:

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