Arbery killers get life in prison; no parole for father, son
BRUNSWICK, Ga. (AP) — Three white men who chased and killed Ahmaud Arbery have been sentenced to life in prison, with a judge denying any chance of parole for the father and son who armed themselves and initiated the deadly pursuit of the 25-year-old Black man.
Greg and Travis McMichael grabbed guns and chased Arbery in a pickup truck after spotting him running in their neighborhood outside the Georgia port city of Brunswick.
Neighbor William "Roddie" Bryan joined the pursuit and recorded cellphone video of Travis McMichael blasting Arbery with a shotgun. Bryan was granted a chance of parole, but must first serve at least 30 years in prison.
A jury convicted all three defendants of murder, aggravated assault, false imprisonment and attempted false imprisonment in November.
At the start of Friday’s hearing, Glynn County Superior Court Judge Timothy Walmsley rejected last-minute legal motions by Bryan’s defense attorney to throw out his murder conviction and spare him from the life sentence that state law imposes automatically. The judge denied the motions.
Wanda Cooper-Jones, Ahmaud Arbery’s mother, said the men chose to lie.
"They each have no remorse and do not deserve any leniency. This wasn’t a case of mistaken identity or mistaken fact. They chose to target my son because they didn’t want him in their community," Cooper-Jones said.
Walmsley said Arbery left his home for a jog and ended up running for his life for five minutes as the men chased him in pickup trucks until they finally cornered him.