The jury in the federal hate crimes trial of the three white men convicted in Ahmaud Arbery’s slaying has reached a verdict.
Jurors indicated they had a decision Tuesday on whether father and son Greg and Travis McMichael and neighbor William “Roddie” Bryan violated Arbery’s civil rights and targeted him because he was Black. All three were convicted of murder in a Georgia state court and sentenced to life in prison for the fatal shooting. Judge Lisa Godbey Wood said the verdict will be read at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday.
The McMichaels grabbed guns and jumped in a pickup truck to pursue Arbery after seeing him running in their neighborhood outside the Georgia port city of Brunswick in February 2020. Bryan joined the pursuit in his own pickup and recorded cellphone video of Travis McMichael firing the fatal shots. Arbery’s killing became part of a larger national reckoning on racial injustice after the graphic video leaked online two months later.
The McMichaels and Bryan pleaded not guilty to the hate crime charges. Defense attorneys contended the three didn’t chase and kill Arbery because of his race but acted on the earnest, though erroneous, suspicion that Arbery had committed crimes in their neighborhood.