[UPDATE Jan. 7, 2022 3:19 p.m.:] 

A judge declared that George and Travis McMichael would both receive life sentences without the possibility of parole, while William "Roddie" Bryan was sentenced to life with the possibility of parole in 30 years.

[Original Story] 

Three men convicted of killing Ahmaud Arbery are expected to receive life sentences with a minimum of 30 years in prison according to Georgia law. They will face trial for federal hate crime charges in February as they attacked him because of his “race and color.”

A jury of nine white women, two white men and one black man found  Gregory McMichael, 66, his son, Travis McMichael, 35, and their neighbor William "Roddie" Bryan, 52, guilty in late November of murder, aggravated assault, false imprisonment and criminal intent to commit a felony.

 

 

Arbery, a 25-year-old jogger, was running through a mostly white neighborhood on Feb. 23, 2020, when the McMichaels grabbed guns and began chasing him in their pickup truck, with Bryan later joining the pursuit in his own truck and recording a cell phone video of Travis McMichael firing a shotgun at Arbery as he tried to defend himself. The McMichaels claimed they were conducting a “citizens arrest” and acted in self-defense. The video would later spark nationwide outrage during a year of protests against racial injustice. 

The McMichaels “truly believe they were doing the right thing to protect their neighbors and friends,” Jason Sheffield, an attorney for Travis McMichael, said after the verdict came back.

The McMichaels were arrested two days after the video went viral. Bryan was arrested two weeks after the McMichaels. The men pleaded not guilty. Prosecutors do not plan to seek the death penalty, but a murder conviction in Georgia commands a life sentence without parole. Prosecutors argued the trio "used force and threats of force to intimidate and interfere with Arbery's right to use a public street because of his race." The three convicts are also facing six-figure fines for their crimes. 

Arbery’s family will be allowed to deliver statements in court in hopes of the three men receiving harsher sentences and the three men will be allowed to have character witnesses testify in an effort to receive lighter sentences. Defense attorneys plan to appeal the convictions.