Guilty verdicts in trial over Ahmaud Arbery’s murder were an answer to prayers, family says. Here’s what comes next

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As the first verdict was being read, Arbery’s father, Marcus Arbery Sr., “jumped over and cheered”, according to a pool reporter in the room.

“I never saw this day in 2020, I never thought this day would come,” said Ahmaud Arbery’s mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, as she stood outside the courthouse door following the verdict.
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He thanked God and all those who marched and prayed for his family.

“Cuz you know him as Ahmed, I know him as Qz. He will rest in peace now,” said his mother to the crowd of people who had celebrated after hearing the news.

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“Today’s verdict was a fact-based decision based on evidence, and that was our goal, to bring that jury so they can do the right thing,” prosecutor Linda Dunnikowski said. works in this country.”

Now, questions must be answered on the sentencing, appeals process, and additional federal charges for Travis McMichael, Gregory McMichael and William “Roddy” Bryan Jr.

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Chances of life in jail in front of the trio

Judge Timothy Walmsley has yet to set a sentencing date for the three convicts.

A jury on Wednesday found Travis McMichael guilty of felony manslaughter, four counts of aggravated assault, two counts of aggravated assault, one count of false imprisonment and one count of criminal attempt to commit felony in Arbery’s death on February 23, 2020, fine Outside Brunswick, Georgia.

His father, Gregory McMichael, was acquitted only on the charge of malice and pleaded guilty to the other charges faced by him and his son.

Bryan was convicted of three counts of felony, one count of felony assault, one count of false imprisonment, and one count of criminal attempt to commit a crime. He was acquitted of one count of felony murder, one count of felony and one count of aggravated assault.

The men now face sentences of life in prison without the possibility of parole on each murder charge, 20 years on each aggravated assault charge, 10 years for false imprisonment and 5 years on criminal attempt. have to face. alleging a crime. Walmsley will decide whether the sentence will be awarded consecutively or simultaneously.

Prosecutors have indicated they will seek a life sentence in prison without the possibility of parole.

Defense attorneys plan to appeal

Travis McMichael’s attorneys Jason Sheffield and Bob Rubin said they plan to appeal the sentence.

When asked about the location of the hearing, Sheffield said he was sure his decision not to file for a change of venue would be discussed “ad nauseam” and could form part of a future appeal, but added That they don’t have any other thoughts about it. Decision.

“I can tell you honestly, these people are sorry for what happened to Ahmed Arbery,” Sheffield said. “They’re sorry that he’s dead, they’re sorry for the tragedy that caused the choices they made to go out there and try to stop him.”

Brian’s attorney, Kevin Gough, said he planned to appeal the verdict regarding his client, noting, “We are confident that the appellate courts will overturn this conviction.”

During the trial, Gough made remarks that were widely considered to be insensitive, urging the court to bar high-profile Black clergy from sitting in public galleries. And a prosecutor told Granthshala on Wednesday that the decision to raise the issue may have been deliberately made to help with the appeal.

Gough said on November 11 that he had “nothing personally” of the Rev. Al Sharpton, who was present with Arbery’s family, adding, “We don’t want any more Black pastors to come here or other Jesse Jackson.” , who were here earlier this week, sitting with the victim’s family, was trying to influence the jury in this case.”

Prosecutors at Ahmaud Arbery's killers trial explain why they believed in the jury, despite the racial makeup
Walmsley ruled that as long as the court proceedings were not disrupted, there would be no sweeping sanctions. Gough apologized for his statement the next day.
The Rev. Jesse Jackson did not appear at the time of the comments, but was seated in the gallery with Arbery’s parents afterward.

The prosecutor, Danikoski, told Granthshala’s Jim Acosta after the verdict that Gough’s remarks about black clergy — though without a jury — were strategic.

“Mr. Gough is a very, very good lawyer, and he did what he did purposefully and deliberately and strategically, I believe, in an attempt to potentially put some error in the case in case he lost the case and that increased on appeal,” she said.

federal charges await

According to the US Justice Department, all three were indicted in April on separate federal hate crime charges, including rights interference and attempted kidnapping. Travis and Gregory McMichael were also charged with using, carrying, brandishing and discharging a firearm during and in connection with a crime of violence.

Federal prosecutors said the three men “used force and threats of force to intimidate and interfere with Arbery’s right to use a public road because of his race.”

The McMichaels and Bryan pleaded not guilty to the federal charges.

Biden says guilty verdicts in Arbery's murder 'reflect our justice system doing its job'

“We are deeply disappointed that the Justice Department purchased the false narrative promulgated by the media and state prosecutors,” Sheffield and Rubin, on behalf of Travis McMichael, said after the federal indictment.

Arbery Sr.’s attorney, Ben Crump, said at the time, “This is an important milestone in America’s climb toward racial justice, and we commend the Justice Department for its treatment of this heinous act—an outright evil, Hate a racially motivated crime.”

Federal testing is due in February. Since he was being held on state charges, no federal bond hearings have yet taken place.

If convicted on federal charges, he could face an additional sentence of up to life in prison.

Granthshala’s Chris Boyat, Amir Vera, Angela Barajas and Madeline Holcombe contributed to this report.

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