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US Ahmaud Arbery’s murderers sentenced to life, 35 years on hate crimes charges

03:11  09 august  2022
03:11  09 august  2022 Source:   reuters.com

Ahmaud Arbery pursuer seeks leniency in hate crimes sentence

  Ahmaud Arbery pursuer seeks leniency in hate crimes sentence SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — The white man who initiated the neighborhood chase that resulted in the fatal shooting of Ahmaud Arbery is asking a federal judge to show leniency when he's sentenced next week for a federal hate crime conviction. While Greg McMichael deserves “a substantial period of incarceration,” his defense attorney said in a legal filing, he should be spared a life sentence — though he has already been sentenced to life without parole on a separate murder conviction.

By Rich McKay

FILE PHOTO: Trial over Ahmaud Arbery's killing in Brunswick, Georgia © Reuters/MARCO BELLO FILE PHOTO: Trial over Ahmaud Arbery's killing in Brunswick, Georgia

BRUNSWICK, Ga. (Reuters) -A judge sentenced a white father and son to life in prison and their neighbor to 35 years on Monday for a federal hate crime in the 2020 murder of Ahmaud Arbery, a Black man shot after jogging in a suburban Georgia neighborhood.

Travis McMichael, a 36-year-old former U.S. Coast Guard mechanic, his father Gregory McMichael, a 66-year-old former Glynn County police officer who later worked for the local prosecutor's office, and William "Roddie" Bryan, a 52-year-old mechanic, were sentenced in the coastal city of Brunswick.

Lawyer: Arbery shooter fears he'll be killed in state prison

  Lawyer: Arbery shooter fears he'll be killed in state prison SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — The white man who fatally shot Ahmaud Arbery after chasing the running Black man in a Georgia neighborhood says he fears he will be killed by fellow inmates if he's sent to a state prison to serve a life sentence for murder. Travis McMichael, 36, faces sentencing Monday in U.S. District Court after his conviction on federal hate crime charges in February. His defense attorney filed a legal motion Thursday asking the judge to keep McMichael in federal custody. Attorney Amy Lee Copeland argued McMichael has received “hundreds of threats” and won't be safe in a Georgia state prison system that is under investigation by the U.S.

The three already are serving life sentences after being convicted of murder in a state trial last November, with only Bryan given the possibility of parole. All three then were convicted in February of federal charges of violating Arbery's civil rights by attacking him because of his race and of attempted kidnapping, with the McMichaels also found guilty of a firearms charge.

They were sentenced on the federal charges in separate hearings on Monday by U.S. District Judge Lisa Godbey Wood. In handing down the younger McMichael's sentence first, Wood said widely seen cellphone video of him shooting Arbery, 25, at close range with a shotgun was seared into her memory.

"You acted because of the color of Mr. Arbery's skin," the judge told McMichael, who looked ashen as the sentence was pronounced.

Men face sentencing for hate crimes in Ahmaud Arbery's death

  Men face sentencing for hate crimes in Ahmaud Arbery's death SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — Months after they were sentenced to life in prison for murder, the three white men who chased and killed Ahmaud Arbery in a Georgia neighborhood faced a second round of criminal penalties Monday for federal hate crimes committed in the deadly pursuit of the 25-year-old Black man. U.S. District Court Judge Lisa Godbey Wood scheduled back-to-back hearings to individually sentence each of the defendants, starting with Travis McMichael, who blasted Arbery with a shotgun after the street chase initiated by his father and joined by a neighbor. Arbery's killing on Feb.

"I do know that you received a fair trial, it is that kind of a trial that Ahmaud Arbery did not receive before he was shot and killed," the judge added.

Gregory McMichael, speaking to the court before he was sentenced, told Arbery's family, "The loss that you've endured is beyond description."

Some of Arbery's relatives wiped away tears in a courtroom crowded with spectators who included civil rights leader Jesse Jackson.

"I'm sure that my words mean very little to you, but I want to assure you I never wanted any of this to happen," Gregory McMichael said. "There was no malice in my heart or my son's heart that day."

He apologized to his son, who declined his own chance to testify, and to his wife, who began sobbing. He did not explicitly apologize to Arbery's family.

During his hearing, Bryan said, "I'm glad to finally have the chance to say to Arbery's family and friends how sorry I am for what happened to him on that day."

Travis McMichael gets second life sentence for killing of Ahmaud Arbery

  Travis McMichael gets second life sentence for killing of Ahmaud Arbery One of the three white men convicted in the 2020 murder of Ahmaud Arbery was sentenced Monday to life in prison on federal charges. © Stephen B. Morton Travis McMichael looks on during the sentencing phase of his state criminal trial at the Glynn County Courthouse in Brunswick, Ga., on Jan. 7, 2022. Travis McMichael, 36, was convicted in federal court in February of violating the Black man’s civil rights, targeting him because of his race. Arbery was jogging through Satilla Shores, Ga., on Feb.

The judge said Bryan deserved a shorter sentence than the McMichaels because he did not bring a gun to the chase.

But the judge also said, "You do not deserve a light sentence." She added that Bryan would be about 90 years old before he completes his federal sentence.

'THREE DEVILS'

Marcus Arbery, the slain man's father, told the court during the first hearing: "These three devils have broken my heart into pieces that cannot be found or repaired." Referring to Travis McMichael, he added: "You hate Black people."

"I struggled to come to the realization that a father could actually accompany his son to take a life," Wanda Cooper Jones, Arbery's mother, told the second hearing in urging a life sentence for Gregory McMichael.

Lawyers for the McMichaels and Bryan on Monday referred to other deaths of Black Americans, including George Floyd and the 10 men and women shot at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York.

The defense lawyers argued their clients should not be treated more harshly than others similarly accused in a series of cases that have drawn attention to racism and violence in the United States.

Father and Son Sentenced to Life in Prison For Federal Hate Crimes in Killing of Ahmaud Arbery

  Father and Son Sentenced to Life in Prison For Federal Hate Crimes in Killing of Ahmaud Arbery Ahmaud Arbery, 25, was shot and killed on Feb. 23, 2020, after being chased on a suburban Georgia street by three men who said they believed he was a burglarTwo men who were convicted of murdering Ahmaud Arbery after chasing him in a Georgia neighborhood were sentenced on Monday to life in prison for committing a federal hate crime.

Arbery, an avid jogger and fitness buff, was running through the leafy, mostly white Satilla Shores neighborhood, near Brunswick, on a February 2020 afternoon when the McMichaels decided to grab their guns, jump in a pickup truck and give chase. Their neighbor Bryan joined the chase in his own pickup truck and pulled out his cellphone to record Travis McMichael firing a shotgun at Arbery at close range. Arbery had nothing on him besides his running clothes and sneakers.

The video emerged months later, prompting protests in many U.S. cities because the three men had not been arrested after a local prosecutor concluded the killing was justified.

The McMichaels had said they believed that Arbery appeared suspicious, speaking of a series of neighborhood break-ins. No evidence ever emerged connecting Arbery to any Satilla Shore thefts.

In addition to a life sentence, Travis McMichael was given an additional 10-year sentence for using a firearm in commission of the crime, and Gregory McMichael was given an additional seven years for brandishing a gun.

The three had been convicted in state court of murder, aggravated assault, false imprisonment and criminal intent to commit a felony, with a jury rejecting self-defense claims. They have appealed.

The three had sought to be transferred out of the state prison system into a federal prison they perceived as safer. Wood said the rules require that they return to the state prison system where they are serving life sentences.

(Reporting by Rich McKay in Brunswick, Ga.; Additional reporting by Jonathan Allen in New York; Editing by Will Dunham and Donna Bryson)

Ex-cop Lane will report to Colorado prison in Floyd killing .
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Former Minneapolis police officer Thomas Lane, who was sentenced to 2 1/2 years for violating George Floyd’s civil rights, will do his time at a low-security federal prison camp in Colorado. A court order Tuesday directs Lane to report to the Federal Correctional Institution Englewood in the Denver suburb of Littleton on Aug. 30. U.S. District Judge Paul Magnuson had recommended that the Bureau of Prisons send Lane to the low-security prison camp in Duluth, closer to his home, but the bureau makes the final decisions on where to place inmates, including weighing safety concerns.

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This is interesting!