The parents of Ahamuad Arbery will be present in a Georgia courtroom when their son’s three convicted murderers are scheduled to be sentenced on Friday for the brutal and brazen killing of the unarmed Black jogger in a case that centered on race and captivated the world’s attention.
Wanda Cooper-Jones, Ahmaud’s mother, and Marcus Arbery, Ahmaud’s father, will be in attendance at the Glynn County Courthouse in the town of Brunswick for the sentencing hearing where father-son duo Gregory and Travis McMichael along with their friend William “Roddie” Bryan learn their fates, according to renowned civil rights attorney Ben Crump.
The expectation is that life sentences will be handed down by Superior Court Judge Timothy Walmsley.
All three convicted murderers face life sentences for their roles in Ahmaud’s killing, which happened on Feb. 23, 2020, after the trio racially profiled, chased, trapped and shot the 25-year-old because they suspected without proof that he burglarized a nearby property.
They will find out on Friday whether their sentences will include eligibility for parole, a possibility that realistically only affects Travis McMichael, who is 35 years old. Their convictions carry a mandatory minimum of 30 years served in prison before they would be eligible for parole, depending on the sentencing Friday. Gregory McMichael is 66 and Bryan is 52.
The McMichaels and Bryan on Nov. 24, 2021, were each found guilty of nearly all the criminal counts for which they were charged in the killing. All three were indicted by a grand jury on malice and felony murder charges as well as aggravated assault, false imprisonment and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment.
Travis McMichael was found guilty on all counts. Greg McMichael was found guilty on all but one of the charges and Bryan was found guilty on all but three of the charges. There were nine counts that the jury had to consider.
The guilty verdicts mean the mostly white jury didn’t buy the defendants’ claim that they were attempting to make a citizen’s arrest of Arbery when Travis McMichael shot him twice at close range with a shotgun. At the time he was killed, Arbery was unarmed and only wearing a t-shirt, shorts and running shoes.
After Friday’s sentencing, the convicted murderers still must answer to federal hate crime charges in another trial scheduled to begin next month in a case that will determine whether they went after Arbery because he was Black. Jury selection in that trial is scheduled to begin on Feb. 7, according to the Associated Press.
Next month, the McMichaels and Bryan face a second trial, this time in U.S. District Court on federal hate crime charges. A judge has set jury selection to begin Feb. 7. Prosecutors will argue that the three men violated Arbery’s civil rights and targeted him because he was Black.
Before the sentencing hearing, Crump and fellow civil rights attorney and Texas attorney general candidate Lee Merritt, who represents’ Cooper-Jones, are scheduled to accompany Ahmaud’s parents at a prayer breakfast at the courthouse Friday morning.
This is a developing story that will be updated following the sentencing with additional information as it becomes available.
Ahmaud Arbery’s Parents Will Be Present When Son’s Murderers Are Sentenced was originally published on newsone.com