Gregory McMichael, Travis McMichael, and William Bryan have all been found guilty of their hate crime charges for depriving Arbery of his civil rights due to his race. The trial, per the Associated Press, saw prosecutors showing text messages and social media activity, including posts featuring racist slurs. News of a verdict having been reached broke on Tuesday morning.
Bryan and the McMichaels were given life sentences in January after being convicted of murder in the 2020 killing of 25-year-old Arbery. The McMichaels were sentenced to life without parole, while Bryan was given life with the possibility of parole.
The three Georgia men were indicted on hate crimes by a federal grand jury in Georgia in April of last year. With Tuesday’s verdict in that case, Bryan and the McMichaels were also found guilty of attempted kidnapping. The McMichaels were also found guilty on firearm-related charges. As previously highlighted in the 2021 indictment, Travis McMichael “used, carried, brandished, and discharged” a Remington shotgun, while Gregory McMichael (Travis’ father) “used, carried, and brandished” a .357 Magnum revolver.
Ahmaud Arbery, 25, was murdered after being pursued by the men in the Satilla Shores area of Georgia on Feb. 23, 2020. The handling of the murder by local authorities was widely criticized, with arrests not taking place until months later.
“We finally got justice for our boy. We finally got justice,” Arbery’s mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, told reporters outside the courtroom following last November’s conviction.
NAACP president and CEO Derrick Johnson shared a statement on Twitter reading, “Two years ago today, none of us knew of Ahmaud Arbery. But two years ago tomorrow, his story shook the conscience of our nation and world. Ahmaud Arbery was lynched in broad daylight, and today’s verdict brings us one step closer to justice.”