3 men sentenced to life in prison for the killing of Ahmaud Arbery

The three white men convicted of killing Ahmaud Arbery, a black man, during a February 2020 encounter were sentenced in a Georgia court on Friday. Gregory McMichael and his son Travis McMichael were both sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. William "Roddie" Bryan Jr., was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole. Video is courtesy of Court TV.

Video Transcript

TIMOTHY WALMSLEY: With regard to the sentence in this case, as to Travis McMichael. Mr. McMichael, the court sentences you as follows. Count 1, malice murder, life without the possibility of parole. Count 2, felony murder is vacated by operation of law. Count 3, felony murder, vacated by operation of law. Count 4, felony murder vacated by operation of law. Count 5, felony murder vacated by operation of law. Count 6, aggravated assault, merges into count 1. Count 7, aggravated assault, the court sentences the defendant to 20 years consecutive to count 1. Count eight, false imprisonment merges into count 1. Count 9, attempted false imprisonment, five years concurrent to count 7. That is life plus 20.

Greg McMichael, the court sentences you as follows. Count 1, malice murder defendant was found not guilty. Count 2, felony murder, life without the possibility of parole. Count 3, felony murder. Vacated. When I say vacated, it's vacated by operation of law. And all cases I just I'm not going to repeat it. Count 4, vacated. Count 5, vacated. Count 6 merges into count 2. Count 7, aggravated assault, 20 years consecutive to count 2. Count 8, 10 years concurrent to count 7, count 9, 5 years concurrent to count 7. That is life plus 20 years.

Roddie Bryan I do want to separate a little bit because the state is making a different recommendation. And despite the back and forth that Mr. Goff and I had during this case, I do want to point out a couple of things that he raised that I think are appropriate to raise with regard to the sentence. As far as the remorse, I think Roddie Bryan stands in very different shoes.

It is obvious from the beginning that he questioned the tragedy that had occurred at the scene and was on, I believe body cam-- I can't remember whose body cam, but the body cam-- in fact questioning whether or not what had occurred and then took steps early on in this process. I think that demonstrated that he had grave concerns that what had occurred should not have occurred. And I think that does make Mr. Bryan's situation a little bit different.

However, Mr. Bryan has been convicted of felony murder, and I do not believe it can be disputed based on the facts of this case, that the verdict was an appropriate verdict based upon the evidence presented at least-- and when to say "appropriate," what I mean is legal-- because I believe there's been some discussion about some differences between Mr. Bryan and the McMichaels.

There may be some differences, but it does not change the fact that was it not for the fact that Mr. Bryan used his vehicle in a way to impede Mr. Arbery's the course of travel this, may not have ever occurred, and that is sufficient for felony murder. He did cooperate with law enforcement. I will point out, Mr. Goff, 17 10 1B there's actually a case out of Chatham County that says it would not apply under the circumstances of this case.

So the court recognizing that Mr. Bryan's position is different, again, Mr. Bryan was found not guilty on count 1 and count 2, court sentences Mr. Bryan to life with the possibility of parole on count 3. Count 4 is vacated. Count 5 is vacated. Count 6 the defendant was found not guilty. Count 7 merges into count 3. The defendant is sentenced to 10 years consecutive to count 3 on count 8 and 5 years concurrent with count 8. Both of those counts, though, will be suspended sentences, which gives Mr. Bryan a life with the possibility of parole sentence.

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