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Unique: It’s the second Thanksgiving she’s spent without her son, but Wanda Cooper-Jones says she’s still grateful.

She says her son, Ahmaud Arbery, 25, “is smiling, looking down as he rests in peace.”

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In a one-on-one exclusive interview with Granthshala News, Cooper-Jones is relieved to find justice for Arbery’s death since he was shot and killed nearly 2 years ago on February 23, 2020. ,” she says.

Cooper-Jones visited a mural on Thanksgiving Day honoring Arbery’s life in Brunswick, Georgia. She says family members were coming out of town and wanted to see the colorful murals sitting on the side of a building that would soon open as the new African-American cultural center in the city.

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Cooper-Jones says her son’s legacy is already making a difference in the world and hopes it will continue to do so. “Ahmoud has already brought a hate crime law here in Georgia, and the civil arrest law is also being repealed,” she says.

Men found guilty of Arbery murder will go to federal court on hate crime charge

Now that three white men have been convicted of felony charges in the death of her son, Cooper-Jones says, “I think Ahmaud deserves the last word. Ahmaud was really hunted like an animal and I Looks like the last word is too much for him. I mean, he deserves it. That’s the least we can do for him.”

Under Georgia law, Travis McMichael and father Greg McMichael, as well as William “Roddy” Bryan, all face a minimum sentence of life in prison, with Wednesday’s sentence. The judge will decide at the sentencing hearing whether he will be with or without the possibility of parole.

Defense attorneys plan to file an appeal after sentencing, but Cooper-Jones says he is ready. But she tells Granthshala News she is also set to face federal hate crime charges for the same 3 men when jury selection begins in February.

“I’m hoping that the guilty verdict on all 3 defendants sends a message of accountability,” Cooper-Jones explains.