White Men Imprisoned For High-profile Murder

A US federal judge sentenced two white men, Gregory McMichael and Travis McMichael, to life in prison for committing a federal hate crime against a black man.

The McMichaels, who were convicted last year, perceived a black jogger, Ahmaud Arbery, as a burglar, so they chased him down and shot him, leading to Arbery’s death.

Arbery Shooters Receive Life Imprisonment

Apart from McMichael, federal Judge Lisa Godbey Wood also sentenced their neighbor, William Roddie Bryan, to 35 years in prison for chasing Arbery in his truck and filming the whole incident.

Judge Wood stated all three criminals received a “fair trial,” but Arbery was not given this type of trial before his brutal murder.

Furthermore, Wood suggested that Arbery will always remain 25 and he was only targeted because he was black.

During the hearing, Arbery’s father, Marcus Arbery, asked the judge to give maximum life imprisonment possible under the law to Gregory McMichael. He stated “these three devils” have broken his heart into pieces and it cannot be repaired anymore. 

While addressing Arbery’s family, Gregory stated that he never wanted to kill Arbery, as there was no malice in his heart. Though Arbery’s mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, noted even if the murderers acknowledge their faults, it will not bring her son back to life.

McMichaels Did Not Get Any Relief From Federal Jury

In November last year, these three men were found guilty of various crimes, including murder, aggravated assault, criminal intent to commit a felony, and false imprisonment of Arbery.

The jury rejected their self-defense claims.

Earlier this year, all three men were found guilty of obstructing Arbery’s civil rights and given another life imprisonment sentence by the Georgia state Superior Court.

Even though they appealed the verdict of the state court, the McMichaels still received life imprisonment from the federal judge this time.

When the McMichaels saw Arbery going past their home in Georgia, they grabbed their guns and chased him, hoping to catch him. They thought that Arbery was a burglar who was running after committing a robbery on a nearby construction site.

Bryan, the neighbor of the McMichaels, saw them; he also chased them in his own truck and filmed the whole encounter using his cell phone. The camera captured the footage of Travis McMichael firing at Arbery with his shotgun.

During the court trial, the McMichaels’ lawyers claimed they were only trying to assist in the arrest of Arbery and fired at him in self-defense.

Likewise, attorneys suggested Arbery was responsible for alleged burglaries in the area. Though Arbery was found unarmed during his encounter with McMichaels, which urged the jury to declare the white men guilty.

Back in 2020, Arbery’s murder sparked massive racial justice protests and vigilantism across the United States.

In another incident of a hate crime, recently, the US Department of Justice charged four in-service and former police officers for their involvement in the fatal shooting of a black woman, Breonna Taylor, who also died in 2020.