A jury found the 3 white men who killed Ahmaud Arbery guilty on a federal hate crime for when they chased and killed 25-year-old- Arbery through a Georgia neighborhood for being black.
All three defendants Travis McMichael, his father Greg McMichael, and their neighbor William “Roddie” Bryan were found guilty on all counts in a federal hate crimes trial.
The defendants were charged with violating Arbery’s civil rights, kidnapping, and for the McMichaels, an additional charge of use of a firearm to commit a crime. Previously, all three men were convicted of murdering Arbery in a state court trial last year and were sentenced to life in prison. The defendants will have 14 days to file appeals.
In order for the three men to be convicted of hate crime charges, the prosecutor first had to prove to the jury that there was a racial motive and that Arbery was targeted for being Black. Present witnesses recounted racist interactions with Greg and Travis McMichael, and prosecutors spent the morning of the trial going over racist and sometimes violent content from the defendants’ digital footprints.
“If Ahmaud was another white person jogging, would this have happened in the way that it did? If Ahmaud hadn’t been using public streets, would this have happened the way it did?” asked prosecutor Christopher Perras in the government’s closing arguments on Monday.
“These defendants saw Ahmaud as less than human, as less than an animal,” prosecutor Lyons told jurors in her final rebuttal before Judge Lisa Godbey Wood sent the jurors out to deliberate on Monday afternoon. Lyons emphasized that they showed no remorse as Arbery was bleeding in the street.