During the federal hate crimes trial, FBI agent Amy Vaughan discovered that from 2013 until after the murder of Arbery in 2020, the McMichael’s sent several racist text messages and online.
Jurors also saw evidence of Greg McMichael’s Facebook posts that commended vigilantism, including one where he bragged about keeping that shotgun he used to murder Arbery, loaded with even more powerful "high-brass" shell that would "rip somebody to shreds."
Vaughan explained that messages from McMichael, his father Greg McMichael and their neighbor William "Roddie" Bryan were taken from their Facebook profiles and cell phones. A plethora of messages was shown and read aloud to jurors.
In one text message that Travis McMichael had sent to a friend, he said he was glad to leave the Coast Guard for work as a government contractor, saying, "Love it, zero n**gers work with me."
On another occasion, Greg McMichael sent a video via Facebook message to a friend that had a song titled "Alabama Ni**er" by Johnny Rebel, a white supremacist supporting recording artist.
Travis McMichael texted his friend Bryan to say that he was angry that his daughter was dating a Black man, and in other text messages, he used a racial slur to refer to the man.
As EBONY previously reported, Travis and Greg McMichael had previously agreed with prosecutors to plead guilty in the hate crimes trial in exchange for 30-year prison sentences, but a judge rejected the deal citing objections by Arbery’s family.
The McMichaels and William "Roddie" Bryan are currently serving life in prison for Arbery’s murder.