The three white men who chased down and murdered 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery in broad daylight in 2020 have been sentenced.
Travis McMichael, 35, and his father, Gregory McMichael, 66, will spend life in prison without the possibility of parole. Their neighbor, William “Roddie” Bryan, 52, was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole.
Early Friday, Cobb County prosecutor Linda Dunikoski asked the state for life sentences for each of the men. Arbery’s parents and his sister Jasmine Arbery asked the judge for the maximum sentence.
“He was robbed of his life’s pleasures big and small,” Jasmine Arbery said, fighting through tears while describing her brother. “The loss of Ahmaud has devastated my family. I’m asking for the maximum sentence available to the court.”
Under Georgia law, the minimum requirement for murder is a life sentence, but it was up to Judge Timothy Walmsley to determine whether the men’s punishment would come with or without the possibility of parole.
Sentencing in the trial comes exactly a month before jury selection begins in a federal hate crimes trial against the men.
The McMichaels and Bryan face one count each of interference with rights and attempted kidnapping. The McMichaels are also each charged with one count of using, carrying, and brandishing — and in Travis McMichael’s case, firing — a gun during and in relation to a crime of violence.
Charges of interference with rights and attempted kidnapping could result in the death penalty, life in prison or another prison sentence length, and a fine, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigations.
On February 23, 2020, the McMichael’s armed themselves and chased Arbery as he jogged through a Brunswick, Georgia, neighborhood. Bryan recorded the pursuit on his cellphone, including when Travis McMichael fatally shot Arbery. In November 2021, the three men were convicted on a number of charges including felony murder in the slaying of the black jogger.