The father and son who chased Ahmaud Arbery and shot him in February 2020 will die in prison after being sentenced to life without parole on Friday. 

Travis and Gregory McMichael were both sentenced to life without parole, while their neighbor William Roddie Bryan, 52, – who filmed the murder – will be eligible for parole. 

Judge Timothy R. Walmsley did not specify how long he would have to spend in prison – prosecutors asked that he spend at least 15 years behind bars. Typically, the minimum in Georgia is 30 years. 

In handing down his sentence, Judge Walmsley called the murder ‘chilling’ and ‘disturbing’. 

‘Taking the law into your own hands is a dangerous endeavor. Ultimately with regard to the murder of Ahmaud Arbery it holds us all accountable. At a minimum his death should force us to consider expanding our definition of what a neighbor may be and how we treat them. 

‘I believe that assuming the worst in others, we show our worst character. Assuming the best in others is always the best course of action. Maybe those are the grand lessons of this case.’ 

There were celebrations outside the court as the sentences were read aloud.  

Travis McMichael, left, has been sentenced to life in prison without parole for shooting dead Ahmaud Arbery in 2020

Travis McMichael, left, has been sentenced to life in prison without parole for shooting dead Ahmaud Arbery in 2020

Travis McMichael, left, has been sentenced to life in prison without parole for shooting dead Ahmaud Arbery in 2020 

Gregory McMichael, Travis's 66-year-old father, will also die in prison under the life without parole sentence

Gregory McMichael, Travis's 66-year-old father, will also die in prison under the life without parole sentence

Gregory McMichael, Travis’s 66-year-old father, will also die in prison under the life without parole sentence

William Roddie Bryan, the 52-year-old neighbor who filmed the murder, was sentenced to life but he has been given the possibility of parole. Prosecutors asked that he have to serve at least 15 years behind bars

William Roddie Bryan, the 52-year-old neighbor who filmed the murder, was sentenced to life but he has been given the possibility of parole. Prosecutors asked that he have to serve at least 15 years behind bars

William Roddie Bryan, the 52-year-old neighbor who filmed the murder, was sentenced to life but he has been given the possibility of parole. Prosecutors asked that he have to serve at least 15 years behind bars 

Earlier, 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’. 

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

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. 

On February 23, 2020, they chased Arbery, a 26-year-old black man, through a street in Satilla Shores. They said they thought he was a burglar. Travis pulled the trigger, with his father nearby. Bryan filmed the entire incident on his phone. 

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. 

If not, all three men will die in prison. 

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.’ 

She also referred to her son’s toenails on the day of the murder – something that was brought up during the trial in by a defense attorney who stoked outrage by referring to his ‘long, dirty toenails’. 

Wanda, on Friday, said: ‘I wish he would have cut and cleaned his toenails before he went out for his jog that day. I guess he would have if he knew he would be murdered.’  

Gregory and Travis McMichael and their neighbor William Brian Jr were found a guilty of murder in state court on November 23 by a panel of 11 white jurors and one black juror. In compiling that jury pool, 1,000 people in the mostly-white Glynn County were called. Pictured: The moment Arbery was shot by Travis McMichael

Gregory and Travis McMichael and their neighbor William Brian Jr were found a guilty of murder in state court on November 23 by a panel of 11 white jurors and one black juror. In compiling that jury pool, 1,000 people in the mostly-white Glynn County were called. Pictured: The moment Arbery was shot by Travis McMichael

Gregory and Travis McMichael and their neighbor William Brian Jr were found a guilty of murder in state court on November 23 by a panel of 11 white jurors and one black juror. In compiling that jury pool, 1,000 people in the mostly-white Glynn County were called. Pictured: The moment Arbery was shot by Travis McMichael

She then pleaded with the judge: ‘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. 

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.  

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

‘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. 

‘MY SON’S KILLERS HAVE NO REMORSE’ – AHMAUD ARBERY’S MOTHER’S VICTIM IMPACT STATEMENT 

I want to speak directly to my son. 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.

Your honor, these men have chosen to lie and attack my son and his surviving family. 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 when they couldn’t sufficiently scare him or intimidate him, they killed him.

My young son, he was born on mothers’ day of 1994. He had a smile so bright it lit up the room. He was a greedy baby and it seemed like he was always searching for something to stick in his mouth. 

He was always a loving baby who seemed to never tire of cuddling, hugs and kisses He loved. He never hesitated to tell me, his sister Jasmine or brother Marcus, and we loved him back, He was messy. He sometimes refused to wear socks.

I wish he would have cut and cleaned his toenails before he went out for his jog that day. I guess he would have if he knew he would be murdered.

My family is going to miss Ahmaud, his jokes, impersonations, his warm smile. These men deserve the maximum sentence for their crimes. Ahamud never said a word to them. He never threatened them, he just wanted to be left alone.

They were fully committed to their crimes – let them be fully committed for the consequences.

I’m standing here before you asking you to please give all three defendants who are responsible for the death of my son, the maximum punishment in this court which I do believe is life without bars without the possible chance for parole. 

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

‘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.’  

‘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.’

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.  

Armed members of the New Black Panther Party march and protest outside of the Glenn County Court house

Armed members of the New Black Panther Party march and protest outside of the Glenn County Court house

Armed members of the New Black Panther Party march and protest outside of the Glenn County Court house

Armed members of the New Black Panther Party marched outside the courthouse on Friday as the sentencing hearing unfolded inside

Armed members of the New Black Panther Party marched outside the courthouse on Friday as the sentencing hearing unfolded inside

Armed members of the New Black Panther Party marched outside the courthouse on Friday as the sentencing hearing unfolded inside 

Members of the New Black Panther Party march outside the Glynn County Court House on Friday

Members of the New Black Panther Party march outside the Glynn County Court House on Friday

Members of the New Black Panther Party march outside the Glynn County Court House on Friday 

Ahmaud Arbery's mother Wanda Cooper-Jones wipes a tear from her eyes while listening to her daughter's impact statement to Superior Court Judge Timothy Walmsley

Ahmaud Arbery's mother Wanda Cooper-Jones wipes a tear from her eyes while listening to her daughter's impact statement to Superior Court Judge Timothy Walmsley

Ahmaud Arbery’s mother Wanda Cooper-Jones wipes a tear from her eyes while listening to her daughter’s impact statement to Superior Court Judge Timothy Walmsley

Ahmaud Arbery's sister Jasmine Arbery wipes a tear from her eyes while listening to her mother's impact statement to Superior Court Judge Timothy Walmsley during the sentencing of Greg McMichael and his son, Travis McMichael, and a neighbor, William "Roddie" Bryan in the Glynn County Courthouse, on January 7, 2022 in Brunswick, Georgia

Ahmaud Arbery's sister Jasmine Arbery wipes a tear from her eyes while listening to her mother's impact statement to Superior Court Judge Timothy Walmsley during the sentencing of Greg McMichael and his son, Travis McMichael, and a neighbor, William "Roddie" Bryan in the Glynn County Courthouse, on January 7, 2022 in Brunswick, Georgia

Ahmaud Arbery’s sister Jasmine Arbery wipes a tear from her eyes while listening to her mother’s impact statement to Superior Court Judge Timothy Walmsley during the sentencing of Greg McMichael and his son, Travis McMichael, and a neighbor, William “Roddie” Bryan in the Glynn County Courthouse, on January 7, 2022 in Brunswick, Georgia

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

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

‘The day has finally come that we will get justice. 

‘The day my family an I have prayed for… it has finally come.’ 

Defense attorneys then pleaded with the judge not to sentence the men to the harshest possible term. 

Gregory McMichael’s attorney, Laura Hogue, called him a ‘man of goodness’ and referred to the killing as a ‘five minute chase that ended in tragedy.’

‘Greg McMichael is a good man. He is not a perfect person but none of us are. 

‘The choices he made as a young man, all the way through to the rest of his life, to serve, not to acquire wealth, but to quietly go through the business of choosing career options to help other people. 

‘I say without hesitation he remains a man of goodness,’ she said. 

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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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: Daily Mail

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