The trial for the murder of Ahmaud Arbery had been going on for a while and awaited a decision since the start of this week. The jury has finally given its verdict and all three involved are found guilty. The charges include, attempted kidnapping, hate crime for all three, and use of a firearm in a crime of violence, separately for both in the McMichael father-son duo.
“To hear that the accused murderers were actually found guilty, I mean, that was huge. We finally got the justice for Ahmaud that he deserved back in 2020,” said Wanda Cooper-Jones, mother of Ahmaud Arbery. Meanwhile, the attorney for Cooper-Jones, Lee Merritt said that they are looking forward to the prosecution of all three found guilty, which should amount to life-without-parole.
The three guilty, Travis McMichael, 35, Travis’s father, Gregory McMichael, 65, and William “Roddie” Bryan, 51, were each charged with one count of interference with rights, in addition to their kidnapping, possession, and use of a firearm. The attempted kidnapping charge was Count Three, indicted on all three, about which the DoJ stated, “Count Three alleges that all three defendants attempted to unlawfully seize and confine Arbery by chasing after him in their trucks in an attempt to restrain him, restrict his free movement, corral and detain him against his will, and prevent his escape.”
The intensely racially charged trial also had the controversial argument of gun rights, what accounts for self-defense, and for whom. Paul Camarillo, Cobb County senior assistant district attorney, talked about how prosecutors in the Ahmaud Arbery case had to show how self-defense was not a viable claim to murder someone, “We had to show that it did not apply in this case and if they could not get past that hurdle, they never could get to self-defense.”
William “Roddie” Bryan Jr., who already pleaded not guilty and simply denied being an accomplice in the murder might apply for an appeal. Kevin Gough, Bryan’s defense attorney said, “Anybody in that position would be disappointed, would be hurt, would be shocked,” adding, “Here he is, he does everything he’s supposed to do, he’s fully cooperating, he’s done everything that he can and now he’s looking at spending the rest of his life in prison.”
Prosecutors are confident about the prosecution and that justice will translate from the indictment to punishment. No sentence has been issued yet, nor has the state set a trial date.
Ahmaud Arbery’s mother in her statement also addressed other mothers and families who have been in a similar position as she’s saying, “My message to these families is don’t give up, keep pushing, keep fighting.”