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Men who murdered Ahmaud Arbery found guilty of federal hate crimes connected to shooting

McMichaels Bryan Ahmaud Arbery case
Posted at 6:35 AM, Feb 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-22 11:04:50-05

BRUNSWICK, Ga. — The three men convicted of murder in Ahmaud Arbery's fatal shooting have been found guilty of federal hate crimes.

A jury delivered its verdict Tuesday after several hours of deliberations.

The jury found that father and son Greg and Travis McMichael and neighbor William "Roddie" Bryan violated Arbery's civil rights in the fatal chase and targeted him because he was Black.

The jury reached the unanimous verdict after just three hours of deliberation on Monday. The court announced a verdict had been reached early Tuesday morning.

Greg and Travis McMichael and William "Roddie" Bryan are already serving life sentences for the murder of the 25-year-old Black man.

Prosecutors said the killing was motivated by "pent-up racial anger," and all three defendants showed in their own words how they feel about African Americans.

During the trial, FBI intelligence analysts shared cell phone and social media evidence that Bryan and Travis McMichael repeatedly used racial slurs.

Defense lawyers had argued racist statements do not prove they targeted Arbery because of his skin color.

The three men chased Arbery down a Brunswick, Georgia, street on Feb. 23, 2020, after they spotted him jogging in their neighborhood.

Arbery had briefly stopped inside a home in the neighborhood under construction. The McMichaels armed themselves and chased after him, believing him to be responsible for a series of break-ins in the area.

Video from the incident showed the McMichaels drive up beside Arbery. A struggle followed for a few moments before Travis McMichael fired his gun, and Arbery stumbled to the ground.

The men did not face charges connected with the shooting for several months. However, once the video leaked to the public, sparking outrage, the McMichaels were arrested and charged. Bryan was arrested and charged a few weeks later.

The three men were convicted of murder charges and other crimes linked to the shooting in November. Last month, the McMichaels were sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, while Bryan was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole.