The men who chased down and murdered Ahmaud Arbery committed a hate crime in the process of their fatal actions … and they’ve all just been convicted of that offense.
The 12-jurors in the federal hate crime trial reached their decision Tuesday after a weeklong trial … in which prosecutors argued the motivation behind the murder was hatred toward Arbery because of his race. As such Travis,Gregory McMichael and William ‘Roddie’ Bryan were all convicted.
All three men faced one count of interference of Arbery’s civil rights, plus attempted kidnapping. The McMichaels were also charged with using, carrying and brandishing a firearm in relation to a crime of violence.
Travis — the one who actually shot and killed Arbery on the road — was also hit with a count of using a firearm in relation to a violent crime. The feds alleged these acts were racially motivated … hence, why the case fell within the purview of federal hate crime laws.
Prosecutors pointed to racist messages they claimed had been posted or exchanged by the defendants — specifically zeroing in on Travis McMichael, who allegedly once said Black people needed to be made examples of in white vs. Black confrontations.
Prosecutors also claimed the men had used racially charged language — be it in writing, or verbally — at one point or another. In addition to this, the feds claim Bryan himself told cops he’d heard the McMichaels use a racist epithet to describe Ahmaud after he’d fallen to the ground.
The men, meanwhile, insisted they weren’t racist, and that the chase wasn’t motivated by race.
Obviously, the jury didn’t believe them.
As you know, the McMichaels and Bryan were all previously found guilty in state court … and were each sentenced to life in prison. The McMichaels have no chance of ever getting out because they got life without the possibility of parole … Bryan’s sentence, however, didn’t have that condition, so he could presumably be released one day, but the federal conviction — which carries a potential life sentence — makes his release unlikely.