All three men charged in the death of Ahmaud Arbery were convicted of murder. The Georgia jury reached its decision after more than 10 hours of deliberations following a trial in which prosecutors argued that the defendants provoked a confrontation with Arbery and defense attorneys said their clients were acting in self-defense.
Gregory McMichael and William Bryan were acquitted of the top charge. All now face up to life in prison.
The McMichaels and Bryan chased Arbery in pickup trucks after they spotted him in their neighborhood outside Brunswick, Georgia on Feb. 23, 2020. Travis McMichael shot Arbery, 25, who was Black, with a shotgun at close range. Bryan filmed the fatal encounter on his cellphone.
The three men, who are white, were arrested months later after the leaked video brought the world’s attention to the case.
Arbery’s family and civil rights leaders have likened his death to a modern-day lynching. The men also face federal hate crime charges.
The jury deliberated for about 11 hours before reaching its decision. Superior Court Judge Timothy Walmsley had a spectator removed from the courtroom as the verdict was being read after the person audibly celebrated the announcement that Travis McMichael was guilty of malice murder.
About an hour into the second day of deliberations on Wednesday, jurors asked to review footage of the fatal encounter and a 911 call that Gregory McMichael made on the day of the shooting. The jury viewed two videos — one the original cellphone video and the other a “high contrast” version of the same video — three times each while seated in the courtroom. They then returned to the jury room.
Source: NBC news