All three men convicted of killing Ahmaud Arbery have been sentenced to life in prison, NPR reports.
Travis McMichael, who shot Arbery, was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole; he was convicted on all nine charges. The charges included malice murder, four counts of felony murder, aggravated assault with a shotgun, aggravated assault with a pickup truck, false imprisonment, and criminal intent to commit a felony.
His father and former Georgia police officer Gregory McMichael was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. He was found not guilty of malice murder but was convicted on the remaining charges, which included the felony murder counts.
William “Roddie” Bryan, the McMichael’s neighbor, was sentenced to life with the possibility of parole. He was found guilty of three of the felony murder counts as well as charges of aggravated assault with his pickup truck, false imprisonment, and criminal intent to commit a felony.
Ahmaud Arbery’s mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, began her statement by speaking directly to her son.
“This verdict doesn’t bring you back, but it does help bring closure to this very difficult chapter of my life,” she said. “I made a promise to you the day I laid you to rest. I told you I love you— and someday, somehow, I would get you justice. Son, I love you as much today as I did the day that you were born. Raising you was the honor of my life, and I’m very proud of you.”
Cooper-Jones said that the defendants lied about her son, her family, displayed no remorse during the trial and that they didn’t deserve any mercy in their sentences.
“This wasn’t a case of mistaken identity or mistaken fact,” she said. “They chose to target my son because they didn’t want him in their community. They chose to treat him differently than other people who frequently visited their community. And when they couldn’t sufficiently scare him or intimidate him, they killed him.”
Before he gave his final remarks, Judge Timothy Walmsley took a minute-long moment of silence to demonstrate “only a fraction of the time” that Arbery was running from the three men who pursued him for five minutes.
“On February 23, 2020, almost two years ago, a resident of Glynn County, a graduate of Brunswick High, a son, a brother, a young man with dreams was gunned down in this community,” Walmsley said. “As we understand it, he left his home apparently to go for a run. And he ended up running for his life.”
As EBONY previously reported, after 11 hours of deliberation, a majority-white jury convicted all three men in Arbery’s murder.
Benjamin Crump, who represented the Arbery family, in a press conference spoke before the sentencing describing the guilty verdict as “an awakening in America.
“What we pray for is that this is a new precedent in America that harkens back to the words written in 1776 when we say we hold these truths, that all men are created equally,” Crump said. “We pray that we see that same spirit in a sentence of these killers, this lynch mob. We want to make sure that they don’t get a slap on the wrist.”