Ahmaud Arbery’s mother says her son was kind, well-mannered and loved by his family and peers. Friday would have been his 26th birthday. http://gma.abc/2WvI3wy
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Ahmaud Arbery Verdict: ALL THREE Suspects GUILTY of Murder! | VIDEO
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'. He talked about the 'terror' Arbery must have felt for the five minutes the men chased him in their pick-up trucks with a shotgun and revolver.
'As we all now know based on the verdict that was handed down in this courtroom, Ahmaud Arbery was murdered. It's a tragedy. It's a tragedy on many, many levels.
'On February 23, 2020...a young man with dreams was gunned down in this community. As we understand it, he went for a run and he ended up running for his life.'
To emphasize how long the five-minute chase must have felt for Arbery, the judge sat silently for a minute in the courtroom.
'That one minute represents a fraction of the time that Ahmaud Arbery was running in Satilla Shores. The chase that occurred, occurred over a five minute period.
'When I thought about this, I kept coming back to the terror that must have been in the mind of the young man running through Satilla Shores,' he said.
'He was hunted down and shot and he was killed because individuals took the law into their own hands.'
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
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
Georgia DA is INDICTED for obstructing cops in Ahmaud Arbery murder case after she 'blocked the arrest of her former investigator and his son'
As McMichael's first guilty verdict was read out, Arbery's father, Marcus Arbery, yelled out 'Woohoo!,' briefly delaying the reading of the other verdicts as he was removed from the courtroom.
McMichael's attorney, Jason Sheffield, said he is planning to appeal the guilty verdict, adding that this is a very hard day for Travis and his father, Gregory McMichael, who was also convicted of murder.
The conviction carries a minimum sentence of life in prison. It is up to the judge to decide whether that comes with or without the possibility of parole.
Neighbor William 'Roddie' Bryan was found guilty of felony murder, aggravated assault, false imprisonment and criminal attempt to commit a felony.
He was found not guilty of malice murder and one count each of felony murder and aggravated assault.
'It's been a long fight, it's been a hard fight, but God is good,' Cooper-Jones told reporters outside the courthouse.
'To tell you the truth I never saw this day back in 2020. I never thought this day would come but God is good. I just wanted to tell everybody thank you, thank you, for those who marched, those who prayed. Thank you God.
Adopting her son's nickname since boyhood, she added: 'You know him as Ahmaud, I know him as Quez, he will now rest in peace. '
Civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who is representing Marcus Arbery in a civil proceeding, said in a statement to DailyMail.com: 'Guilty. Guilty. Guilty. After nearly two years of pain, suffering, and wondering if Ahmaud's killers would be held to account, the Arbery family finally has some justice.
The jury in the trial of three white men accused of murdering Ahmaud Arbery (pictured) has reached a verdict
'Nothing will bring back Ahmaud, but his family will have some peace knowing the men who killed him will remain behind bars and can never inflict their brand of evil on another innocent soul. While today is not one for celebration, it is one for reflection.'
Travis McMichael, looking red-faced, turned to leave the courtroom and mouthed 'love you' to his mother, Leigh.
'I'm floored, floored with a capital 'F,'' Laura Hogue, one of Gregory McMichael's lawyers, said in the courtroom.
'This is a very difficult day for Travis McMichael and Greg McMichael,' Sheffield echoed. 'These are two men who honestly believed that what they were doing was the right thing to do. However, a Glynn County jury has spoken. They have found them guilty. They will be sentenced.'
'That is a very disappointing and sad verdict for myself and for Bob and for our team, but we also recognize that this is a day of celebration for the Arbery family. We cannot tear our eyes away from the way they feel about this. They feel they have gotten justice today. We respect that. We honor that. Because we honor this jury trial system.'
Superior Court Judge Timothy Walmsley, who presided over the trial for their state charges, has not yet set a sentencing date for the three men.
The men face minimum sentences of life in prison. It is up to the judge to decide whether that comes with or without the possibility of parole.
The three men have also been indicted on separate federal hate crime charges, including interference with rights and attempted kidnapping. The McMichaels were also charged with using, carrying, brandishing and discharging a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence. All three men pleaded not guilty.
The federal trial is set to take place in February. If convicted, they could each face an additional penalty of up to life in prison. Since the defendants were being held on state charges, a federal bond hearing has not been set.
Gunman Travis McMichael (pictured Wednesday with his attorney) was found guilty on the charge of malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, false imprisonment and criminal attempt to commit a felony
Gregory McMichael (left, pictured Wednesday with his attorneys) was found guilty of felony murder, aggravated assault, false imprisonment and criminal attempt to commit a felony. He was found not guilty of malice murder. Neighbor William 'Roddie' Bryan (right, pictured in court Wednesday) was found guilty of felony murder, aggravated assault, false imprisonment and criminal attempt to commit a felony. He was found not guilty of malice murder and one count each of felony murder and aggravated assault
+++++++++++=++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Court docs say Ahmaud Arbery had previous connection with one of the men who shot him
A neighbor, William 'Roddie' Bryan joined the chase and took cellphone video of Travis McMichael shooting Arbery at close range with a shotgun.
The McMichaels said they believed Arbery was a burglar and that he was shot after attacking Travis McMichael with his fists.
Police did not charge any of them immediately following the shooting, and the McMichaels and Bryan remained free for more than two months until the Georgia Bureau of Investigation took over the case.
All three were charged with murder in May 2020 and face trial this fall.
Ex-Brunswick District Attorney Jackie Johnson (left) was indicted on Thursday on misconduct charges alleging she used her position to shield the men who chased and killed Ahmaud Arbery (right) from being charged with crimes immediately after the shootings
In this image from video posted on Twitter on May 5, 2020, Arbery, left, struggles with Travis McMichael over a shotgun on a street in a neighborhood outside Brunswick, Georgia, on February 23, 2020
Arbery is seen stumbling and falling to the ground after being shot as Travis McMichael stands by holding a shotgun
Greg McMichael had worked as an investigator in Johnson's office and left her a cellphone message following the shooting.
The indictment says Johnson showed 'favor and affection' toward Greg McMichael in the investigation and interfered with police officers at the scene by 'directing that Travis McMichael should not be placed under arrest.'
Johnson has insisted she did nothing wrong, saying she immediately recused herself from the case because Greg McMichael was a former employee.
She recommended an outside prosecutor, Waycross Judicial Circuit District Attorney George Barnhill, who was appointed to the case and concluded no charges were warranted.
Barnhill later stepped aside after Arbery's family noted he had a son working for Johnson as an assistant prosecutor.
Johnson lost reelection last year, and blamed the controversy over Arbery's death for her defeat.
She did not immediately return a phone message seeking comment Thursday.
Last year, Johnson defended her office's involvement, which she insisted was minimal because the elder McMichael worked for her as an investigator before retiring in 2019.
Earlier this week, a judge barred defense attorneys from bringing up Arbery's past run-ins with the law during the upcoming murder trial. Arbery's record included a 2013 arrest for bringing a gun into a school gym, and a 2017 for trying to steal a TV from a store. He was on probation stemming from a shoplifting conviction at the time of his death
That relationship required the office to step away from the case.
'I'm confident an investigation is going to show my office did what it was supposed to and there was no wrongdoing on our part,' Johnson told The Associated Press last year.
Johnson said Glynn County police contacted two of her assistant prosecutors on the day of the shooting, seeking legal advice.
She said her assistants immediately responded that they could not get involved because of the conflict of interest.
Asked if anyone in her office told police not to arrest the McMichaels or suggested the shooting may have been justified, Johnson said, 'Absolutely not.'
She said it was the police who brought up self-defense during their call.
'The police represented it as a burglary case with a self-defense issue,' Johnson said.
Police were seeking 'guidance on how to proceed and whether to make an arrest. Our office could not advise or assist them because of our obvious conflict.'
Johnson said she reached out to Barnhill, asking if his office could advise Glynn County police.
Because it was a fatal shooting, she said, 'I didn't want the case to stall.'
The attorney general ended up appointing Barnhill to take over on February 27, four days after the shooting.
But in his May 2020 letter asking the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to investigate possible misconduct by the prosecutors, Carr said he was never told that Barnhill had already advised police 'that he did not see grounds for the arrest of any of the individuals involved in Mr. Arbery's death.'
Superior Court Judge Timothy Walmsley ruled evidence of Arbery's past run-ins with the law is irrelevant and could be prejudicial
Ahmaud Arbery Update: New Video Emerges of the Minutes Before His Killing / WATCH The man who recorded the video may also face arrest, says the Georgia Bureau Of Investigation
The investigation of the murder of Ahmaud Arbery took another turn this week as it has been revealed that at least one of the shooters and Arbery may have known each other.
Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Greg McMichael, one of the men charged in the murder of Arbery, previously investigated the 25-year-old. Waycross Judicial Circuit District Attorney George Barnhill recused himself from the case due to a conflict of interest, in a letter sent to Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr.
He wrote that his son, a prosecutor in the Brunswick DA’s office, and McMichael, then an investigator in that same office, “both helped with the previous prosecution of (Ahmaud) Arbery.”
Barnhill claimed that he only became aware of this previous association “three or four weeks” earlier. He made no mention as to why he waited to come forward with this information but accused others of spreading lies about him and the McMichaels.
Barnhill declared, “a local ‘rabble rouser’ has taken up this cause and begun publishing wild and factually incorrect and legally wrong accusations on Facebook and other social media formats calling for marches and physical affronts be made against the McMichaels at their homes, and my son’s home in Brunswick, etc.”
Court records show that as a student in high school, Arbery was sentenced to five years probation as a first offender on charges of carrying a weapon on campus and several counts of obstructing a law enforcement officer.
He violated his probation when he was convicted in a shoplifting case in 2018. Barnhill alluded to these misdeeds when he wrote to the Glynn County police that charges weren’t warranted against the McMichaels in Arbery’s February shooting death.
Arbery was unarmed and jogging when the McMichaels chased him in a truck and shot at him three times. They claimed Arbery was a possible suspect in a string of robberies and instigated the confrontation. Footage shot on a cell phone shows a different sequence of events.
911 calls released as Gregory and Travis McMichael are Charged with the Murder of Ahmaud Arbery
We’ve got another important update regarding the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery. A new video has emerged that appears to be the unarmed black jogger minutes before he was killed has emerged.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution said it obtained a copy of the video, which it said appeared to come from a home security camera and show someone who looked like Arbery walking around a home construction site.
Meanwhile, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said it was examining the footage.
“We are using video to put the timeline together to fill in the blanks of what happened that afternoon,” said Scott Dutton, GBI’s Deputy Director of investigations, told the paper.
click HERE for video
According to the AJC’s report, the video shows the man was on the construction site less than five minutes, much of the time out of view, and did not appear to take anything from the house.
As we reported, on Thursday Gregory McMichael, 64, and Travis McMichael, 34, were formally charged in the shooting death of Arbery,25.
The McMichaels lived near the construction site.
Meanwhile, on Facebook, former Atlanta detective Vince Velazquez has posted a very interesting video that allows the viewer to examine the previously released video (directly above) of Ahmaud Arbery’s actually killing through his professional eyes and intellect. It is most definitely worth a look:
Gregory and Travis McMichael, the father and son duo who were seen on video participating in the killing of an unarmed black man who was jogging in South Georgia, were arrested Thursday evening.
Gregory McMichael, 64, a former police officer, and his son Travis McMichael, 34, were both charged with murder and aggravated assault in the February 23 shooting of Ahmaud Arbery, 25.
It’s worth noting that local prosecutors had initially refused to charge the pair who say they suspected Arbery was a burglar running through their neighborhood. The incident has become a racial flashpoint.
As we reported earlier, Waycross Judicial Circuit District Attorney George E. Barnhill said in the memo that Gregory McMichael, Travis McMichael and their neighbor William Bryan were in “hot pursuit of a burglary suspect” when they shot Arbery as he jogged through the Satilla Shores neighborhood just outside of Brunswick, Georgia. Barnhill sent the memo to Glynn County Police Capt. Tom Jump
“It appears it was their intent to stop and hold this criminal suspect until law enforcement arrived,” Barnhill wrote. “Under Georgia law, that is perfectly legal.”
Barnhill also identifies William Bryan, who is white, as the man who shot the video of the killing of Arbery. Bryan has an address listed in the Satilla Shores neighborhood, according to the police report.
The decision not to arrest the McMichaels or Bryan fueled outcry across the nation with attorneys for Arbery’s family saying he was racially profiled. Local officials and community leaders say a history of nepotism and privilege in the district attorney offices of Waycross and Brunswick has allowed the killers to remain free.
Barnhill said in the letter that he was recusing himself from the case over a conflict of interest. In the memo, he stated that Arbery’s mother wanted him off the case because his son worked in the Brunswick District Attorney’s office.
Brunswick District Attorney Jackie Johnson had previously recused herself from the case because Gregory McMichael was a retired investigator from her office. Gregory McMichael is also a former Glynn County police officer.
“You have relational connections that run back for generations,” said Rev. John Perry II, president of the Brunswick NAACP. “We believe the privilege of relationships caused the delay we are experiencing.”
Perry has called for Glynn County Police Chief John Powell, who is currently on paid administrative leave for violating oath of office in an unrelated matter, to step down.
“Based on his negligence to say that an arrest should be made, there is no way that our taxpayer dollars should be paying him,” Perry said.
Meanwhile, Benjamin Crump, an attorney for the Arbery family, posted a photo on Twitter Thursday of a man he says is Bryan.
“If he chased down Ahmaud and filmed his execution, he should be arrested and charged with aiding and abetting them in committing this crime of murder,” Crump said.
You can read/learn MORE at USA Today.
White man who chased and shot dead unarmed black jogger Ahmaud Arbery with his son is an ex-cop whose law enforcement links caused two prosecutors to recuse themselves
As the world stops to mourn the death of Ahmaud Arbery, 25, more information is emerging surrounding the murder.
Following the release of a video that showed the gunning down of Arbery, a Black man who was reportedly jogging in the middle of the road when targeted and shot, two 911 calls were released to the public.
The first caller notes that he was watching a Black man peer into a house that was under construction.
When asked by the 911 attendant if the person was “breaking and entering,” the caller clearly says, “No.” When asked what was the man doing, the caller just as clearly states: “He is running down the street.”
The 911 attendant pushed a little harder inquiring what the man was “doing wrong” and further suggesting an offense: “Was he just on the premise and was not supposed to be?” Still, the caller did not reply directly. He appeared to be more concerned with justifying his suspicion about the “Black man” that he saw running.
“He’s been caught on camera a bunch before at night. It’s kind of an ongoing thing out here,” the caller said.
The second call was from Gregory McMichael, the father of Travis McMichael, the man that approached Arbery with a shotgun.
As if tag-teaming with the first caller, Gregory also reports a Black male running down the street. The sound is muffled until you hear him call out the directive, “Stop that damnit! Stop!”
Afterward, you hear him call his son’s name, “Travis.”
It is unsure at what point Gregory’s call was made, opening multiple doors of questioning.
Why is this 911 call (though noted by the New York Times) being released to the public only after the video that has sparked national outrage hit the internet? Had there been a formal report regarding this strange man harassing the community before?
As revealed on the now-viral video, Ahmaud Arbery was killed on February 23 after being seen running down the street in the predominantly white town of Brunswick, GA. As Arbery passed by 64-year-old Gregory McMichael and his son Travis, he was shot dead.
Alleged Murder Video Of Georgia Black Jogger Ahmaud Arbery Leaks! (Graphic)
One of the white men filmed chasing unarmed black jogger Ahmaud Arbery then shooting him dead in a viral video is a retired police detective and district attorney's investigator whose law enforcement links have caused two prosecutors to recuse themselves from the controversial case.
Gregory McMichael, 64, and his 34-year-old son Travis were filmed on February 23 chasing Arbery in their white pick-up truck through Brunswick, Georgia, because they thought he was a burglar.
Arbery, 25, was out for a jog when the pair stopped their truck in front of him in a tree-lined street. Travis got out of the car, wielding a rifle, and shot him after a brief struggle while his former cop father watched, with his own gun primed, from the cargo bed of their truck.
The killing was filmed by a vehicle driving behind the McMichaels and has now spread on social media.
Police were called to the scene but neither man was arrested and since then, it has been passed between three prosecutors, two of whom had to recuse themselves because of their professional ties to McMichael.
Father and son Gregory and Travis McMichael (left) were filmed shooting Ahmaud Arbery dead on February 23 after chasing him in their truck because they thought he was a burglar. Ahmaud was unarmed and was out running. Neither McMichael has been arrested or charged
In the footage, shot can be heard and the two can then be seen scuffling as Arbery looks to try to get the gun away from Travis. Two more shots can be heard and are fired at point-blank range before
Arbery can be seen stumbling to the ground as the clip comes to a close. 'This is murder,' Arbery's family lawyer, Lee Merritt said
February 23: Ahmaud Arbery is shot dead in the street in Brunswick, Georgia.
Gregory and Travis McMichael had gone out in their car with guns to chase him because they mistook him for a burglar.
When they caught up to him, Travis got out of the car.
Greg says they told Arbery that they wanted to talk to him and that he attacked Travis. A struggle ensued and Travis fired his gun twice, killing Ahmaud, 25.
First prosecutor recuses herself
Jackie Johnson, the Brunswick District Attorney, stepped down from the case because Gregory used to work in her office as an investigator.
Second prosecutor says he won't press charges, then recuses himself
George Barnhill was given the case. He at first said he did not think it merited charges because the McMichaels were acting lawfully by trying to carry out a citizen's arrest, which is legal in Georgia.
He also said that the video 'shows' Arbery reaching for Travis' gun.
The first shot is fired however when the pair are out of frame.
When the camera panned back to them, they were struggling again to the side of the vehicle.
Barnhill said Travis was standing his ground by firing three shots which hit Arbery.
He later had to recuse himself after it emerged that his son works in the Brunswick District Attorney's Office, where Gregory served.
Third prosecutor passes it on to grand jury
Tom Durden is the third prosecutor to have the case come across his desk.
He said that his office would approach it without prior prejudice.
This week, he announced that he would not make a decision on whether or not to charge, and that he wants to convene a grand jury to take it on.
That will not happen until at least June 14 because of how the courts have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The first, Jackie Johnson, recused herself because Gregory worked in her office as an investigator until retiring a year ago. He previously served as a detective in the police department.
The second prosecutor, George Barnhill, said that he believed the McMichaels were within their rights to chase Arbery and arrest him, with guns, because citizens arrests are legal in Georgia.
He also claimed that Ahmaud 'initiated' the fight - even though the start of it is out of the video frame - and that he 'clearly' tried to grab Travis's weapon frm him.
As such, he said Travis was lawful in shooting him because it constitutes a stand your ground killing.
Barnhill later recused himself amid complaints that his son works in the first prosecutor's office, where Gregory used to serve.
The third prosecutor, Tom Durden, has passed the case off to a grand jury, meaning it could be months before anyone is charged or arrested since court proceedings have been stalled by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Barnhill's own son works in the Brunswick District Attorney's Office, where Greg McMichael used to work as an investigator.
Despite the conflict, he ruled that charges should not be brought against either Greg or Travis.
He also slammed the current prosecutor in charge of the case, Tom Durden, who has passed it on to a grand jury to weigh whether or not to bring charges.
'Prosecutors will need a grand jury in order to formally indite them but that has nothing to do with going out and arresting the men seen on camera.
'The prosecutors actually have the option to directly indite and skip the grand jury process,' he added.
Now, Ahmaud's mother is demanding that the men at least be arrested, let alone charged.
She appeared on Good Morning Americaon Thursday morning to say that she believess the white father and son are being protected by law enforcement.
'I think no arrest has been made because of the title that he carried as a retired police officer.
'They don't feel like he was wrong because he was one of them,' she said.
She revealed that she has not been able to bring herself to watch the video of her son's killing that has spread through social media and sparked outrage.
'I don't think I'll ever be in a mental state where I can actually watch the video,' she said.
She added that her son, who would have turned 26 on Friday, had a 'humbling spirit'.
Ahmaud's mother Wanda Jones said on Thursday that the two white men were being protected because the father is a former police detective
'Ahmaud was kind, Ahmaud was well mannered, Ahmaud was loved by his family and peers.
'He didn't deserve to go the way that he went,' she said.
Lee Merritt, the family's lawyer who previously described Ahmaud's death as a 'lynching', said the second prosecutor involved ought to be hauled before the board of ethics for not disclosing the conflict of interest.
Speaking on Wednesday, Merritt stated during a press conference: 'These men were not performing any police function or any duty as citizens of Georgia.., these men were vigilantes, they were performing a lynching in the middle of the day.'
'I saw my son come into the world,' Jones said. 'And seeing him leave the world, it's not something that I'll want to see ever.'
She added: 'He was my baby boy that I had on Mother's Day of 1994. He was his sister and brother's keeper... his spirit was good. He was a yes ma'am and no ma'am type of fellow.'
Arbery's father, Marcus, labeled his son's death a 'hate crime'.
'My young son wasn't doing nothing - minding his own business, running and working out. And that's a crime? To work out and run and he ain't breaking no law? No. Time out.'
The footage sparked widespread outrage from viewers across America, with a crowd of protesters assembling in Brunswick brandishing signs and chanting for justice.
On Wednesday, a crowd of protesters also gathered in Atlanta to raise awareness of Arbery's death and to demand that arrests be made in the case.
FOX 5 reports that a larger demonstration is being planned for Friday - which would have marked Arbery's 26th birthday.
Meanwhile, Arbery's death has now captured the attention of the presumptive Democratic nominee for President, Joe Biden, who sent out a tweet describing Arbery's death as 'murder'.
'The video is clear: Ahmaud Arbery was killed in cold blood,' Biden tweeted late Tuesday along with a link to a Georgia district attorney recommendation that a grand jury hear the case.
'My heart goes out to his family, who deserve justice and deserve it now,' the presumed Democratic nominee continued in his Twitter post. 'It is time for a swift, full, and transparent investigation into his murder.'
Former Democratic Presidential hopefuls Bernie Sanders and Beto O'Rourke also tweeted for justice - stating that the attack was racially motivated.
Celebrities including LeBron James, Justin Bieber and Kendall Jenner also posted about the case.
'He was my baby boy that I had on Mother's Day of 1994. He was his sister and brother's keeper... his spirit was good. He was a yes ma'am and no ma'am type of fellow': Arbery is pictured at right with his mom Wanda Jones
The alleged murder video of an African American Georgia man named Ahmaud Arbery just leaked online. The video purports to show the last minute, where the Black man was chased by armed White men in Georgia, then killed.
The video appears to show a group of White men in pickup trucks chasing the Black man, carrying rifles. They then jump out and attack the man, and then shoot him down - like they were hunting a wild animal.
Ahmaud Arbery, 25, was jogging in a Brunswick neighborhood on February 23 when a man and his son chased him down, telling police later that they thought he looked like the suspect in a series of recent break-ins in the area.
Ahmaud was not armed. Surprisingly the men who chased him down and shot him have not been arrested, or even questioned by Georgia police.
"This is an ongoing investigation," the Glynn County Police Department said in a statement April 28, adding that it "continues to gather and provide information to the District Attorney's Office that the case has been assigned to."
Two district attorneys have recused themselves over possible conflicts of interest, one of whom wrote that Travis McMichael acted out of self-defense and their actions fell within Georgia's citizen arrest laws.