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Father and son receive second life sentences for Ahmaud Arbery’s murder

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  • Two of the three men who murdered Ahmaud Arbery received second life sentences.
  • Gregory and Travis McMichael had already received life sentences in state court.
  • Arbery’s murder occurred shortly before George Floyd was killed.

Two of the three men who chased down and shot Ahmaud Arbery to death in 2020 received second life sentences in a federal court. They had been convicted in state court last year and are already in prison for life, according to Infobae and EFE.

Along with Gregory and Travis McMichael, the father and son who were sentenced to life in prison, their neighbor, William «Roddie» Bryan, was sentenced to 35 years. Travis McMichael, 36, received a second life sentence plus 10 years for hate crimes for his part in Arbery’s murder. Ahmaud Arbery was a 25-year-old Black man who was jogging when the three men chased him down and shot him in a racist crime that provoked a wave of anger and protests across the US.

Ahmaud Arbery

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Travis’ father, Gregory McMichael, also received a federal sentence of life in prison plus seven years. The three had already been sentenced to life in prison after their trial, in early 2022, in the Superior Court of Glynn County, Georgia. The sentences are symbolic, since federal judge Lisa Godbey ruled that they should be served simultaneously with the state’s sentence. The McMichaels will not be eligible for parole.

Arbery’s murder happened shortly before the murder of George Floyd, an incident that ignited the flame of a multitude of protests against racism in the United States and gave international relevance to the Black Lives Matter movement. Arbery’s death, which occurred on February 23, 2020, went largely unnoticed for several months, until a video recorded by Bryan on his cell phone was leaked online. The recording showed the moment when the young man was intercepted by the McMichaels, who, after chasing him down and cornering him in their truck, shot him at close range with a shotgun.

WHAT HAPPENED AFTER AHMAUD ARBERY’S MURDER?

african american death

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Arbery’s death prompted Georgia lawmakers to pass a measure criminalizing hate crimes in the state, a bipartisan initiative signed into law by Republican Governor Brian Kemp, who hailed it as a «sign of progress.» US District Judge Lisa Godbey Wood sentenced Travis McMichael, 36, and his father Greg McMichael, 66, in Brunswick. Both had previously been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole in Georgia state court for Arbery’s murder.

“A young man is dead. Ahmaud Arbery will be forever 25 years old. And the jury found that that happened because he was black,” Wood said. Arbery’s killing joined the murders of other unarmed Black people — including George Floyd in Minneapolis and Breonna Taylor in Kentucky — that sparked outrage. Filed Under: Ahmaud Arbery

WHAT DID ARBERY’S FAMILY SAY?

african american death

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Before sentencing, the judge heard testimony from Arbery’s family. His mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, said that every day she feels every shot fired at her son «It is so unfair, so unfair, so unfair that they killed him when he was not even committing a crime,» said his mother. Greg McMichael addressed the Arbery family, saying their loss was «beyond description.»

“I am sure that what I say means very little to you, but I want to assure you that I never meant for any of this to happen,” he said. «There was no malice in my heart or in my son’s heart that day.» Outside the courtroom, Cooper-Jones responded to his statement. “I think he realizes that he made horrible decisions. Unfortunately, his apology does not bring my son back,” she stressed. Filed Under: Ahmaud Arbery

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