Travis McMichael and his father, Gregory McMichael, as well as their neighbor William “Roddie” Bryan, who were all convicted in the killing of Ahmaud Arbery, were each sentenced to life in prison, BBC reports.
Bryan was given the possibility to seek parole in 30 years.
Ahmaud Arbery’s killers sentenced to life in prison, two without possibility of parole. pic.twitter.com/bI5VJMdHkU
— SAY CHEESE! 👄🧀 (@SaycheeseDGTL) January 7, 2022
Arbery’s mom, Wanda Cooper-Jones, asked the court to issue a maximum punishment for the three men who chased down her 25-year-old son and killed him as he was jogging in a Brunswick, Georgia, neighborhood, accusing him of stealing from a construction site.
“Your honor, I’m standing here before you as the mother of Ahmaud Arbery, asking you to please give all three defendants who are responsible for the death of my son the maximum punishment in this court,” Cooper-Jones said in her victim impact statement, according to CNN, “which I do believe is life behind bars without the possible chance for parole.”
Marcus Arbery Sr., Arbery’s father, said he will never have a chance to sit next to his son, unlike Travis, who had been sitting in the courtroom with his father every day.
“Not at a dinner table, not at a holiday,” the grieving father said on Friday. “My heart is broken, and always will be broken. … If I could, I’d have [traded] places with Ahmaud in a heartbeat. But I can’t. So I’m standing here today to do what he can’t, and that is to fight for him, fight for his memory, his legacy, and to tell you who he was.”
The three men were convicted on multiple charges, including felony murder. Lead prosecutor Linda Dunikoski asked for life sentences for all three men.
As Blavity previously reported, the defendants pursued the young man with their truck on Feb. 23, 2020, after suspecting him of stealing. The defense team argued that Travis was acting in self-defense when he fired his gun at Arbery, who they said was wrestling for the weapon.
Cooper-Jones said she didn’t want to hear anything from the three men during the sentencing.
“There is nothing that they can tell me today that would make me feel better,” she said.