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

11:40  25 november  2021
11:40  25 november  2021 Source:   cnn.com

All 3 Defendants Found Guilty of Murdering Ahmaud Arbery, Black Jogger Chased Down and Shot in Georgia

  All 3 Defendants Found Guilty of Murdering Ahmaud Arbery, Black Jogger Chased Down and Shot in Georgia Ahmaud Arbery, 25, was shot and killed on Feb. 23, 2020, after being chased on a suburban Brunswick street by three men who said they believed he was a burglarAll three men charged have been found guilty for the murder of Ahmaud Arbery, a Black jogger they believed to be a burglar running on a suburban Georgia street, who they pursued and cornered with their pickups before a physical confrontation in which one of the men fatally shot him.

The family of Ahmaud Arbery reacted with joy and relief Wednesday after three White men were found guilty of charges relating to the 25-year-old Black man's murder following a trial seeped in issues such as race and the rights and limitations of self-defense.

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

As the first verdict was being read, Marcus Arbery Sr., Arbery's father, "leapt up and cheered," according to a pool reporter in the room.

"I never saw this day back in 2020, I never thought this day would come," said Ahmaud Arbery's mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, as she stood just outside the courthouse doors following the verdicts.

She thanked God and all the people who marched and prayed for her family.

Jury to deliberate verdict in Ahmaud Arbery's death. Here are key moments from the trial.

  Jury to deliberate verdict in Ahmaud Arbery's death. Here are key moments from the trial. The jury will now decide if Travis and Greg McMichael and William "Roddie" Bryan are guilty of murder and other crimes in the death of Ahmaud Arbery.How jurors decide on a verdict could ultimately hinge on how they view Travis McMichael, who fatally shot Arbery and was the only defendant to testify.

"Quez, which you know him as Ahmaud, I know him as Quez. He will now rest in peace," his mother said to the crowd of people gathered, who had celebrated upon hearing the news.

"The verdict today was a verdict based on the facts, based on the evidence and that was our goal, was to bring that to that jury so that they could do the right thing," said prosecutor Linda Dunikoski, adding, "the jury system works in this country."

Now, questions over the sentencing, appeals process and additional federal charges for Travis McMichael, Gregory McMichael and William "Roddie" Bryan Jr. must be answered.

Trio face possibility of life in prison

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

The jury on Wednesday found Travis McMichael guilty of malice murder, four counts of felony murder, two counts of aggravated assault, one count of false imprisonment and one count of criminal attempt to commit a felony in Arbery's death on February 23, 2020, just outside Brunswick, Georgia.

Brunswick GA: For Black residents of Ahmaud Arbery's hometown, trust in the justice system is on trial right alongside his accused killers

  Brunswick GA: For Black residents of Ahmaud Arbery's hometown, trust in the justice system is on trial right alongside his accused killers Carrying signs that read "Justice for Ahmaud," the demonstrators marched past majestic live oaks draped with Spanish moss. They chanted Ahmaud Arbery's name as they wound through the streets, past a hardware store, several homes, a convenience store. They rounded the corner by the floral shop, calling for those watching from the sidewalk to join them. © Elijah Nouvelage for CNN Protesters march from the Glynn County Courthouse to the Brunswick African American Cultural Center. © Elijah Nouvelage for CNN A handwritten "I Run With Maud" sign is seen on the facade of an unoccupied building in Brunswick.

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

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

The men now face a sentence of up to life in prison without the possibility of parole on each of the murder charges, 20 years on each of the aggravated assault charges, 10 years on the false imprisonment charge, and 5 years on the criminal attempt to commit a felony charge. Walmsley will decide whether the sentences will be served consecutively or concurrently.

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

Murder trial paints 2 different portrayals of Ahmaud Arbery

  Murder trial paints 2 different portrayals of Ahmaud Arbery A jury is deliberating on the fate of three men accused of killing Arbery. The prosecution and defense gave the nearly all-white jury two vastly different tales of Arbery. The prosecution painted him as a brother, an uncle and a victim, while the defense portrayed him as a prospective criminal.

Defense attorneys plan to appeal

Jason Sheffield and Bob Rubin, attorneys for Travis McMichael, said they planned to appeal the conviction.

When asked about the location of the trial, Sheffield said he was sure their decision not to file for a change of venue would be discussed "ad nauseam" and could become a part of a future appeal but said they did not have any second thoughts about the decision.

"I can tell you honestly, these men are sorry for what happened to Ahmaud Arbery," said Sheffield. "They are sorry that he is dead, they are sorry for the tragedy that happened because of the choices that they made to go out there and try to stop him."

Kevin Gough, Bryan's attorney, said he planned to appeal the decision regarding his client, noting, "We believe the appellate courts will reverse this conviction."

During the trial, Gough made remarks that were widely considered insensitive, beseeching the court to prevent high-profile Black pastors from sitting in the public gallery. And one prosecutor told CNN Wednesday the decision to raise the issue may have been intentional to help with an appeal.

Trial takeaways: Arbery's killer testifies; pastors rally

  Trial takeaways: Arbery's killer testifies; pastors rally BRUNSWICK, Ga. (AP) — The man who fatally shot Ahmaud Arbery took the witness stand to tell jurors he pulled the trigger fearing for his own life. Meanwhile, hundreds of Black pastors rallied outside the Glynn County courthouse in coastal Georgia to show support for the slain 25-year-old Black man's family, compelled by a defense attorney's failed efforts to get prominent civil rights figures barred from the court. The trial of father and sonMeanwhile, hundreds of Black pastors rallied outside the Glynn County courthouse in coastal Georgia to show support for the slain 25-year-old Black man's family, compelled by a defense attorney's failed efforts to get prominent civil rights figures barred from the court.

Gough said on November 11 he had "nothing personally against" the Rev. Al Sharpton, who was in attendance alongside Arbery's family, adding, "We don't want any more Black pastors coming in here or other Jesse Jackson, whoever was in here earlier this week, sitting with the victim's family trying to influence a jury in this case."

Walmsley ruled that as long as court proceedings were not disrupted, there would be no sweeping bans. Gough apologized for his statements the next day.

The Rev. Jesse Jackson had not made an appearance at the time of the comments, but later sat in the gallery with Arbery's parents.

Dunikoski, the prosecutor, told CNN's Jim Acosta after the verdict that Gough's comments about Black pastors -- though made without the jury present -- were strategic.

"Mr. Gough is a very, very good attorney, and he purposefully and intentionally and strategically, I believe, did what he did in an effort to attempt to insert potentially some error into the case in case he lost the case and it went up on appeal," she said.

Federal charges await

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

Federal prosecutors said all three men "used force and threats of force to intimidate and interfere with Arbery's right to use a public street because of his race."

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

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

Arbery Sr.'s attorney Ben Crump said at the time, "This is an important milestone in America's uphill march toward racial justice, and we applaud the Justice Department for treating this heinous act for what it is -- a purely evil, racially motivated hate crime."

The federal trial is set to take place in February. Since they were being held on the state charges, there has been no federal bond hearing yet.

If convicted on the federal charges, they could face an additional penalty of up to life in prison.

Travis McMichael testifies Ahmaud Arbery did not threaten him .
The defense rested its case after the jury heard testimony from Travis McMichael, the man who fired the fatal shots.Travis McMichael, the man who fired the fatal shots, spent several hours on the stand Thursday testifying in his own defense and answering questions from prosecutors.

usr: 1
This is interesting!