Father and Son Who Killed Ahmaud Arbery Sentenced to Life in Prison for Federal Hate Crimes

by Jhanaya Belle

August 8, 2022

Photo by: Sean Rayford/Getty Images

On August 8th, Travis and Gregory McMichael, the father and son who were found guilty of killing Ahmaud Arbery in February of 2020, received life sentences in prison again for federal hate crimes.

Additionally, a judge mandated that Greg McMichael, 66, and Travis McMichael, 36, spend their prison terms in state prisons rather than federal ones, as had been asked by their lawyers.

“You killed a man on Feb. 23, 2020. The events depicted in the video, they are seared in the annals of this court and no doubt in your mind forever,” Judge Lisa Godbey Wood stated.

The murder of Arbery, which occurred months before the police death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, served as a prelude to the widespread protests that summer as protesters denounced how occasionally people of color, specifically Black people are handled by law officials.

A federal jury found the father and son guilty of the counts after adopting the prosecution’s claim that the defendants harbored racial animosity toward Arbery.

While his father Gregory was found guilty of using and carrying a.357 Magnum pistol, McMichael, who fatally shot Arbery, was also found guilty of using and carrying a Remington shotgun.

“My son was shot not one time, not two times, but three times,” Wanda Cooper-Jones, Arbery’s mother expressed right before the sentence was given.

Photo by: Stephen B. Morton-Pool/Getty Images

Attorney Amy Lee Copeland requested the judge let Travis McMichael serve his term in a federal facility because she said her client had received “hundreds of threats” and would likely be killed in state detention. Greg McMichael’s lawyer, A.J. Balbo, informed the judge that her client was “not fit” medically to serve his sentence in state prison.

However, the McMichaels were ordered to serve their terms in state prison at the request of the prosecution and members of Arbery’s family.

All three assailants, including 52-year-old William “Roddie” Bryan, are already serving life sentences for the crime. 20 years were added on to both McMichaels’ sentences for the attempted kidnapping charges, although they’ll serve them concurrently with their state sentences.

“You killed him because he was a Black man and you hate Black people,” Marcus Arbery, the slain 25-year-old’s father exclaimed.

Photo by: Stephen B. Morton-Pool/Getty Images

In February, the McMichaels were found guilty in federal court of attempted kidnapping, possession of illegal weapons, and obstructing Arbery’s right to use a public thoroughfare because he was Black.

William “Roddie” Bryan, 52, a third assailant, will also receive a sentence on Monday.

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