The white father and son who hunted down and killed black 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery in a Georgia neighborhood in their pickup trucks have been condemned to life in prison without the chance of release.
Ahmaud Arbery’s killers get no parole
After dramatic victim impact testimonies from Ahmaud Arbery’s family, Travis McMichael, his father Gregory McMichael, and their neighbor William “Roddie” Bryan Jr were all convicted on Friday in Glynn County Courthouse in Brunswick, Georgia.
After shooting Ahmaud Arbery twice at close range with a shotgun, Travis McMichael, 35, was sentenced to life in prison plus 20 years without the prospect of release on nine offences, along with intentional murder.
On eight crimes, including criminal murder, Gregory McMichael was sentenced to life in prison plus 20 years even without potential of release.
That day, the 66-year-old armed himself and jumped in his truck with his son, following him “like a rat” and threatened to “blow your f***ing head off!”
Bryan, 52, was found guilty of six offenses, including felony murder, and was sentenced to life in prison without the chance of parole after jurors learned how he saw his neighbors following Ahmaud Arbery and rushed in his own vehicle to join in.
He then cornered and attempted to attack Ahmaud Arbery with his truck, which he described as a “5,000-pound lethal weapon.”
All men were given life sentences with the chance of parole, which implies that parole can only be considered after 30 years in jail under state law.
Bryan will be 82 years old when he gets his first chance at freedom, while the McMichaels will spend the rest of their lives behind bars.
Just after the sentencing, chants of “Justice for Ahmaud” and “Black Lives Matter” wafted just outside of the courthouse, and Ahmad Arbery’s mother praised followers “for standing with my family.”
Judge Timothy Walmsley urged the court to sit silently for one minute before announcing his sentencing judgment, claiming it was a “fraction of the time that Ahmaud Arbery was running in Satilla Shores”.
“The chase in Satilla Shores went on over around a five minute period,” he said, adding that he’s been thinking about “the terror that must have been in the mind” of Arbery during that time.
“As we all now know based upon the verdict in November, Ahmaud Arbery was murdered,” he said.
“It’s a tragedy, a tragedy on many, many levels.”
He continued, “As we understand it, he left his home going for a run and ended up running for his life.”
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