December 3, 2021
Jury: Ahmaud Arbery’s shooting was murder, three white men convicted
BRUNSWICK, GA - Three white men were found guilty Wednesday of felony murder in the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery, a black man who was running in their neighborhood when the defendants confronted him last year.

The nearly all-white jury convicted Travis McMichael of malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, false imprisonment and criminal attempt to commit a felony.

Gregory McMichael and William Bryan were acquitted of the top charge. All now face up to life in prison.

The McMichaels and Bryan chased Arbery in pickup trucks after they spotted him in their neighborhood outside Brunswick, Georgia on Feb. 23, 2020. Travis McMichael shot Arbery, 25, who was Black, with a shotgun at close range. Bryan filmed the fatal encounter on his cellphone.

The convicted men, who are white, were arrested months later after the leaked video brought the world’s attention to the case.

Arbery’s family and civil rights leaders have likened his death to a modern-day lynching. The men also face federal hate crime charges.

The jury deliberated for about 11 hours before reaching its decision. Superior Court Judge Timothy Walmsley had a spectator removed from the courtroom as the verdict was being read after the person audibly celebrated the announcement that Travis McMichael was guilty of malice murder.

About an hour into the second day of deliberations on Wednesday, jurors asked to review footage of the fatal encounter and a 911 call that Gregory McMichael made on the day of the shooting. The jury viewed two videos — one the original cellphone video and the other a “high contrast” version of the same video — three times each while seated in the courtroom. They then returned to the jury room.

NBC news reported that the defense had argued that the men suspected Arbery was a burglar and that residents in the Satilla Shores subdivision were "on edge." Arbery was recorded on security camera video visiting a partially built home in the neighborhood several times. The videos did not show Arbery taking anything from the property. The last video was recorded the afternoon he died.

Arbery could be seen visiting the home minutes before he was chased by Gregory and Travis McMichael and Bryan, who had separate defense teams.

The defense had sought to convince the jury that their clients were trying to execute a citizen's arrest, which was legal at the time. Travis McMichael's attorneys have said he opened fire in self-defense.

Story Date: November 25, 2021
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