Ahmaud Arbery Hate Crimes Trial: McMichaels Strike Plea Deal

BRUNSWICK, GA – The white father and son who killed Ahmaud Arbery after chasing the unarmed black man while jogging in February 2020 have reached a plea deal to avoid a federal hate crimes trial.

Travis McMichael and his father Gregory McMichael, along with their neighbor William “Roddie” Bryan Jr., were due to face a federal trial next week over allegations that they interfered with Arbery’s rights, attempted kidnapping and threatened of violence while brandishing a handgun and a shotgun in violation of federal law.

However, federal prosecutors filed documents on Sunday saying they had reached settlements with the McMichaels, according to court documents obtained by Patch. Details of the settlements each man received were not immediately available and the settlements still require court approval.

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No plea considerations for Bryan were evident in court documents filed Sunday. He will still go before a federal judge on February 7.

On February 23, 2020, the McMichaels armed themselves in a pickup truck to chase Arbery past their home on Satilla Drive outside of Brunswick in coastal Glynn County. They believed he was responsible for robberies in the neighborhood and were seeking a citizen’s arrest citing the Civil War-era law that state lawmakers recently revised. Bryan got into his truck and joined the chase, filming the entire incident with his cell phone.

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They eventually cornered the 25-year-old and Travis McMichael shot Arbery three times with a shotgun, killing him.

A Glynn County jury found the three men guilty of murder and other counts, including aggravated assault, in November, the day before Thanksgiving. Travis McMichael, who claimed self-defense in the shooting, was found guilty of malicious murder, multiple counts of murder and aggravated assault and false imprisonment.

Except for the charge of malicious murder, Gregory McMichael received the same guilty verdicts as his son. Bryan was found guilty of just three counts of murder and a single count of aggravated assault to accompany the false charges of imprisonment.

Earlier this month, the McMichaels were sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, while Bryan was sentenced to life with the possibility of parole.

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