Ahmaud Arbery’s parents asked a judge to sentence his killers to life without parole on Friday at a courthouse in Georgia, saying they ‘lynched him in broad daylight’ and targeted him when he felt most ‘free and alive’.  

Gregory McMichael, 66, his son Travis, 35, and their neighbor William Roddie Bryan, 52, were all pictured arriving at court on Friday in Brunswick, Georgia. 

In November, they were all convicted of murder – which carries a mandatory life sentence. Prosecutors chose not to seek the death penalty. 

The only decision the judge will make on Friday is whether or not to grant any of them parole. If he does, the men will still have to serve some time behind bars before they are eligible to be considered for release. 

The minimum sentence that Travis McMichael faces is life in prison with the possibility of parole after 15 years. 

The minimum Gregory McMichael faces is life in prison with the possibility of parole after 35 years. Prosecutors are asking that William Roddy Bryan be given parole but it’s unclear after how long. 

His father Marcus spoke first, telling the court: ‘The man who killed my son has sat in this courtroom every day next to his father. I’ll never get the chance of sitting next to my son ever again. Not at a dinner table, not at a holiday, not at a wedding.

‘I pray that no one in this courtroom has to do what we had – bury their child.’ 

Arbery’s mother Wanda Cooper Jones, pleaded: ‘They were fully committed to their crimes – let them be fully committed for the consequences. 

‘Your honor, I am standing here before you today as the mother of Ahmaud Arbery asking you to please give all three defendants who are responsible for the death of my son, the maximum punishment which I do believe is life without bars without the possible chance for parole.’ 

The men’s lawyers are asking that they be granted parole after 30 years. Prosecutors have asked the judge not to grant any of the men parole. 

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Wanda Cooper Jones

Wanda Cooper Jones

Marcus Arbery

Marcus Arbery

Ahmaud Arbery’s mother Wanda Cooper Jones (left) and father Marcus (right) asked a judge to impose the maximum sentence possible for his killers – life without parole

William Roddie Bryan, right, waits for his sentencing along with Greg McMichael, and Travis McMichael, in the Glynn County Courthouse, Friday

William Roddie Bryan, right, waits for his sentencing along with Greg McMichael, and Travis McMichael, in the Glynn County Courthouse, Friday

William Roddie Bryan, right, waits for his sentencing along with Greg McMichael, and Travis McMichael, in the Glynn County Courthouse, Friday

Greg McMichael, right, waits for the sentencing of he and his son Travis McMichael, and a neighbor, William "Roddie" Bryan in the Glynn County Courthouse

Greg McMichael, right, waits for the sentencing of he and his son Travis McMichael, and a neighbor, William "Roddie" Bryan in the Glynn County Courthouse

Greg McMichael, right, waits for the sentencing of he and his son Travis McMichael, and a neighbor, William “Roddie” Bryan in the Glynn County Courthouse

Travis McMichael, left, speaks with his attorney Jason B. Sheffield at the Glynn County Courthouse

Travis McMichael, left, speaks with his attorney Jason B. Sheffield at the Glynn County Courthouse

Travis McMichael, left, speaks with his attorney Jason B. Sheffield at the Glynn County Courthouse

Cooper Jones spoke about Ahmaud as a ‘loving’ baby who ‘never seemed to tire of cuddles, hugs and kisses.’

His father Marcus told how he loved to run more than anything because it made him feel ‘free’. 

‘Not only did they lynch my son in broad daylight but they killed him when he was doing what he loved more than anything – running. 

‘That’s when he felt most alive. Most free. And they took all of that from him.

‘When I close my eyes, I see his execution over and over. I’ll see that for the rest of my life.  

‘When I became a father my life became bigger than me, it became bigger than me about my family, protecting him, protecting my boy. I know in my head that there is nothing I could have done that day to have saved my son. 

Ahmaud Arbery's father Marcus Arbery, center, sits in the courtroom with other family members during the sentencing of Greg McMichael, his son, Travis McMichael, and a neighbor, William "Roddie" Bryan in the Glynn County Courthouse

Ahmaud Arbery's father Marcus Arbery, center, sits in the courtroom with other family members during the sentencing of Greg McMichael, his son, Travis McMichael, and a neighbor, William "Roddie" Bryan in the Glynn County Courthouse

Ahmaud Arbery’s father Marcus Arbery, center, sits in the courtroom with other family members during the sentencing of Greg McMichael, his son, Travis McMichael, and a neighbor, William “Roddie” Bryan in the Glynn County Courthouse

‘To save him from this evil and hate. My heart is broken and always will be.

Ahmaud Arbery was shot and killed in Brunswick, Georgia, U.S. on February 23, 2020,one year on

Ahmaud Arbery was shot and killed in Brunswick, Georgia, U.S. on February 23, 2020,one year on

Ahmaud Arbery was shot and killed in Brunswick, Georgia, U.S. on February 23, 2020,one year on

‘If I could trade places with Ahmaud, I would in a heartbeat but I can’t’. I’m standing here to do what he can’t – that is to fight for him. His memory, his legacy and to tell you who he was. That’s the one thing you didn’t hear in this courtroom. More than anything else, you should know who my boy was.

‘We love our son and we will never have him with us to celebrate anything. Thanksgiving, Christmas…his birthday his killers should spend the rest of their lives thinking about what they took from us. It should be behind my bars.

‘Me and my family have got to live with this for the rest of our lives. They should stay behind those bars the rest of their lives. They didn’t give him a chance.’  

Ahmaud’s mother spoke directly to him, saying: ‘This verdict doesn’t bring you back. But it does help bring closure to this very difficult chapter of my life

‘I made a promise to you the day I laid you to rest. I told you I loved you and someday, somehow I would get you justice. Son, I love you as much today as the day you were born.

‘Raising you was the honor of my life and I am very proud of you.’ 

She said none of the killers showed remorse for their actions, and deserved to die in prison.  

‘They have no remorse and do not deserve leniency. This wasn’t a case of mistaken identity or mistaken fact. They chose to target my son because they didn’t want him in their community. They chose to treat him differently. 

‘And when they couldn’t sufficiently scare him or intimidate him, they killed him.’  

William Roddie Bryan, 52, arrives at court in Brunswick, Georgia, on Friday to be sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Ahmaud Arbery 

Travis McMichael, 35, arrives in court in shackles on Friday morning to be sentenced for the murder of Ahmaud Arbery. He will be at least 65 before he gets out of prison

Travis McMichael, 35, arrives in court in shackles on Friday morning to be sentenced for the murder of Ahmaud Arbery. He will be at least 65 before he gets out of prison

Travis McMichael, 35, arrives in court in shackles on Friday morning to be sentenced for the murder of Ahmaud Arbery. He will be at least 65 before he gets out of prison

Travis McMichael, 35, arrives in court in shackles on Friday morning to be sentenced for the murder of Ahmaud Arbery. He will be at least 65 before he gets out of prison

Travis McMichael, 35, arrives in court in shackles on Friday morning to be sentenced for the murder of Ahmaud Arbery. He will be at least 65 before he gets out of prison

Gregory McMichael, 66, is shown arriving at court for the 10am sentencing hearing

Gregory McMichael, 66, is shown arriving at court for the 10am sentencing hearing

Gregory McMichael, 66, is shown arriving at court for the 10am sentencing hearing

Gregory McMichael, 66, is shown arriving at court for the 10am sentencing hearing

Gregory McMichael, 66, is shown arriving at court for the 10am sentencing hearing

Gregory McMichael makes his way into court on Friday to be sentenced to life in prison

Gregory McMichael makes his way into court on Friday to be sentenced to life in prison

Gregory McMichael makes his way into court on Friday to be sentenced to life in prison 

Three white men guilty of Ahmaud Arbery faced 27 charges between them – this is what each of them mean

COUNT 1 – MALICE MURDER

This is defined as causing a person’s death with deliberate intention without provocation and ‘where all the circumstances in the killing show an abandoned and malignant heart’. 

Travis McMichael – Guilty

Gregory McMichael – Not guilty

William ‘Roddie’ Bryan – Not guilty  

COUNTS 2, 3, 4 AND 5 – FELONY MURDER 

This applies when a death is caused in the course of committing another felony whether or not the killing was intentional or unprovoked. 

Travis McMichael – Guilty on all counts

Gregory McMichael – Guilty on all counts

William ‘Roddie’ Bryan – Guilty on three counts, not guilty on one counts

COUNT 6 and 7 – AGGRAVATED ASSAULT 

Under Georgia law this is an assault using a deadly weapon. Count six refers to the shotgun used, count 7 refers to the two pickup trucks, driven by Gregory McMichael and William ‘Roddie’ Bryan, used to box Arbery in.

Travis McMichael – Guilty 

Gregory McMichael –  Not guilty on count 6; Guilty on count 7

William ‘Roddie’ Bryan – Not guilty on count 6; Guilty on count 7 

COUNT 8 –  FALSE IMPRISONMENT  

This is when a person ‘arrests, confines, or detains’ another person without legal authority. 

Travis McMichael – Guilty 

Gregory McMichael –  Guilty

William ‘Roddie’ Bryan – Guilty

COUNT 9 – CRIMINAL INTENT TO COMMIT A FELONY

This refers to performing ‘any act which constitutes a substantial step’ toward the intentional commission of a crime  

Travis McMichael – Guilty 

Gregory McMichael –  Guilty 

William ‘Roddie’ Bryan – Guilty 

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‘Obviously we’re going to argue for life with the possibility of parole,’ said Frank Hogue, a lawyer for the elder McMichael. ‘Practically, that doesn’t mean much of a difference for a 65-year-old man.’

Ahmaud Arbery was shot dead in February 2020

Ahmaud Arbery was shot dead in February 2020

Ahmaud Arbery was shot dead in February 2020 

Arbery, a 25-year-old avid jogger, was running through the mostly white residential neighborhood of Satilla Shores on the afternoon of Feb. 23 when the McMichaels decided to grab their guns, jump in a pickup truck and give chase. 

The younger McMichael would later testify to the jury they had a hunch Arbery might be fleeing a crime.

Bryan joined the chase in his own pickup truck after it passed his driveway, and pulled out his cellphone to record Travis McMichael firing a shotgun at Arbery at close range. 

Arbery had nothing on him besides his running clothes and sneakers.

The video caused outrage when it emerged months later and it became clear that none of the men involved had yet been arrested after a local prosecutor concluded the killing was justified.

The three men will be allowed to address the court if they wish during Friday’s hearing, and prosecutors from the Cobb County district attorney’s office will be able to call on Arbery’s relatives to share victim impact statements. 

At a press conference before the hearing, attorney Ben Crump called the men a ‘lynch mob’ and said Arbery’s family did not want to see them ‘get a slap on the wrist’.  

Ahmaud’s mother Wanda Cooper Jones said: ‘Thank you all for standing with us to get justice for Ahmaud. 

‘The day has finally come that we will get justice. The day my family an I have prayed for… it has finally come.’ 

Ahmaud Arbery's mother Wanda Cooper-Jones arrives in court in Brunswick, Georgia, on Friday for the sentencing of her son's killers

Ahmaud Arbery's mother Wanda Cooper-Jones arrives in court in Brunswick, Georgia, on Friday for the sentencing of her son's killers

Ahmaud Arbery’s mother Wanda Cooper-Jones arrives in court in Brunswick, Georgia, on Friday for the sentencing of her son’s killers

Ahmaud Arbery's father Marcus Arbery arrives at court on Friday for the sentencing. He spoke briefly before the hearing, telling reporters he is a 'different man now'

Ahmaud Arbery's father Marcus Arbery arrives at court on Friday for the sentencing. He spoke briefly before the hearing, telling reporters he is a 'different man now'

Ahmaud Arbery’s father Marcus Arbery arrives at court on Friday for the sentencing. He spoke briefly before the hearing, telling reporters he is a ‘different man now’

Ahmaud Arbery's family and friends arrive at the courthouse in Brunswick, Georgia, on Friday morning

Ahmaud Arbery's family and friends arrive at the courthouse in Brunswick, Georgia, on Friday morning

Ahmaud Arbery’s family and friends arrive at the courthouse in Brunswick, Georgia, on Friday morning 

Source: dailymail

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