THREE men charged with the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery were convicted of his murder on Wednesday and Arbery's mom has since broken her silence about the verdict.

Arbery's mother cried as the verdict was announced for Gregory McMichael, 65; his son Travis McMichael, 35; and their friend William 'Roddie' Bryan, 52.

“This is the second Thanksgiving we’ve had without Ahmaud. But at the same time I’m thankful. This is the first Thanksgiving we are saying we got justice for Ahmaud,” Arbery’s mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, told The Associated Press on Thursday.

The judge was forced to temporarily halt the verdict announcement after the courtroom erupted in cheers when Gregory's first guilty charge was read.

Outside the court, protesters celebrated the decision by shouting Arbery's name.

The killing of Arbery on February 23, 2020, sparked outrage across the country when a video of the death went viral months later.

All three defendants had pleaded not guilty and now face life in prison.

Read our Ahmaud Arbery live blog below for the latest updates…

  • Jocelyn Cook

    WHO IS WILLIAM 'RODDIE' BRYAN?

    William "Roddie" Bryan, 52, is from just outside the port city of Brunswick.

    The Georgia man's cell phone recorded the fatal shooting of Ahmaud Arbery, the unarmed Georgia jogger.

    Attorney Kevin Gough, who is representing Bryan, released a public statement in 2020 saying that, "Roddie is a family man, Nascar fan, and enjoys rock and roll".

    The McMichaels weren’t arrested until the cellphone footage of the shooting leaked online, and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation took over the case.

    In June 2020, a grand jury indicted both McMichaels and their neighbor, Bryan, on charges.

  • Jocelyn Cook

    WHO IS TRAVIS MCMICHAEL?

    Travis McMichael, 35, is Gregory McMichael's son.

    In November 2020, at the Superior Court, Travis's mother, Lee McMichael, testified that he lived with her and his father.

    She also told the court that he has a son – then aged four – and doesn’t have a passport, reported the Associated Press.

    His attorneys cited his past service as a US Coast Guard mechanic as proof of his character.

    Zachary Langford – a friend of Travis McMichael’s since boyhood – testified that his friend was a jokester who got along with everyone.

  • Jocelyn Cook

    WHO IS GREGORY MCMICHAEL, PART THREE

    Five years later, in February 2019, months before he retired, Gregory McMichael again lost his certification from the council for failing to complete the required training in 2018, the Guardian reported.

    Stripped of his law enforcement duties, he was reassigned to work as a staff liaison in the Camden county district attorney’s office but couldn't have his badge or carry a firearm.

    McMichael retired in June 2019.

    Dwayne Pollock, assistant Human Resources director for Glynn County, told Insider that the office "located no record of discipline or complaints" associated with McMichael's career."

    The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that McMichael had helped with a "previous prosecution of Ahmaud Arbery".

    When he was in high school, Arbery was sentenced to five years probation on a weapons charge, the paper added.

  • Jocelyn Cook

    WHO IS GREGORY MCMICHAEL, CONTINUED

    In 2014, according to a personnel memo cited by News4Jax, "McMichael had his department-issued firearm taken away, his badge and any other card identifying him as a deputy sheriff or District Attorney’s Office investigator".

    It added: "He was told he couldn’t serve subpoenas or work in the field until the issues were resolved."

    McMichael applied for a training waiver, telling the Georgia POST Council that he had suffered two heart attacks between 2005 and 2009.

    His wife had also been diagnosed with cancer and the couple had filed for bankruptcy due to “overwhelming” medical bills, News4Jax reported.

    In 2014 his boss spoke to the council on McMichael's behalf, and his training waiver was granted, which meant he was able to continue on as chief investigator for District Attorney Jackie Johnson's office.

  • Jocelyn Cook

    WHO IS GREGORY MCMICHAEL?

    Gregory McMichael, 65, is a white retired law enforcement officer.

    Employment records show he failed to complete sufficient basic law enforcement training, the Guardian reported.

    This led to him losing his power of arrest in 2006, it adds, for failing to complete the required 20 hours of training the previous year.

    McMichael was an investigator in the Brunswick judicial circuit district attorney’s office from 1995 to 2019.

    News4Jax adds that: "For eight years, Gregory McMichael was acting as an investigator with no arrest powers due to lack of training."

    The website explains: "The lapse in state-mandated training for community-oriented policing, de-escalation, and use-of-force meant, between 2006 and 2014, McMichael didn’t have the authority or right to apply for arrest warrants, search warrants or conduct arrests under the color of the law."

  • Jocelyn Cook

    WHO WAS AHMAUD ARBERY?

    Mr Arbery, a 25-year-old black man, was a former high school football star who graduated in 2012.

    He lived in coastal Glynn County with his mother.

    Friends and family say he was an avid runner.

    Rafael Baker Jr., with whom Mr Arbery played football, remembered him as "vocal, funny and a goofy guy".

    He told PBS NewsHour he thought of Mr Arbery as a brother, adding: "He made everybody smile.

    "If there was anything going on, he knew how to lighten up the mood and just make you feel good."

    Mr Arbery's dad Marcus Arbery Sr said: "He ran all the time.

    "Everybody knows he ran all the time."

    He said of his son: "All he did was work out… he had dreams.

    "All his dreams, gone."

  • Jocelyn Cook

    ARBERY'S MOTHER LEFT COURTROOM AFTER 'TOENAILS' COMMENT

    Arbery's mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, left the courtroom after Hogue's remark about Ahmaud Arbery's "toenails."

    "I gotta get out of here," she said, CNN reported.

  • Jocelyn Cook

    'TOENAILS' COMMENT SPARKS OUTRAGE

    During the trial on Monday, Laura Hogue, one of Gregory McMichael's lawyers, made a comment about Ahmaud Arbery that sparked outrage.

    "Turning Ahmaud Arbery into a victim after the choices that he made does not reflect the reality of what brought Ahmaud Arbery to Satilla Shores in his khaki shorts with no socks to cover his long, dirty toenails," Hogue said to jurors, according to CNN.

  • Jocelyn Cook

    BREAKDOWN OF THE VERDICT, PART THREE: WILLIAM BRYAN

    William “Roddie” Bryan Jr was found guilty of three counts of felony murder, one count of aggravated assault, one count of false imprisonment, and one count of criminal attempt to commit a felony.

    But Bryan was acquitted of malice murder, one count of felony murder, and one count of aggravated assault.

    He faces a sentence of up to life in prison without the possibility of parole on each of the murder charges, 20 years on the aggravated assault charge, 10 years on the false imprisonment charge, and 5 years on the criminal attempt to commit a felony charge.

  • Jocelyn Cook

    BREAKDOWN OF THE VERDICT, PART TWO: GREGORY MCMICHAEL

    Travis's father, Gregory McMichael, was found guilty of four counts of felony murder, two counts of aggravated assault, false imprisonment, and criminal attempt to commit a felony.

    However, he was acquitted on a malice murder charge.

    He faces a sentence of up to life in prison without the possibility of parole on each of the four felony murder charges, as well as up to 20 years on each of the aggravated assault charges, 10 years on the false imprisonment charge, and five years on the criminal attempt to commit a felony charge.

  • Jocelyn Cook

    BREAKDOWN OF THE VERDICT

    Ultimately, the jury found Travis McMichael guilty of malice murder, four counts of felony murder, two counts of aggravated assault, one count of false imprisonment, and one count of criminal attempt to commit a felony.

    He faces a sentence of up to life in prison without the possibility of parole on each of the murder charges.

    He could also be sentenced to up to 20 years on each of the aggravated assault charges, 10 years on the false imprisonment charge, and five years on the criminal attempt to commit a felony charge.

  • Jocelyn Cook

    HOW LONG DID THE JURY DELIBERATE?

    The jury in the Ahmaud Arbery case deliberated for more than 11 hours over two days.

    Gregory McMichael, Travis McMichael, and William ‘Roddie’ Bryan were all found guilty of murder in the trial.

  • G. P. Rodriguez

    AHMAUD ARBERY'S DAD SAYS 'ALL LIVES MATTER'

    Marcus Arbery reacted to the guilty verdicts in the trial for his son's murder on Wednesday, saying "all lives matter."

  • G. P. Rodriguez

    WHO IS ATTORNEY BEN CRUMP?

    Benjamin Lloyd Crump, 52, is an American attorney who specializes in civil rights and personal injury cases. 

    He is the founder and president of Ben Crump Law in Florida, with over 10 associates in his legal staff representing the firm and clients. 

    Crump attended Florida State University and received his bachelor's degree in criminal justice in 1992, and his Juris Doctor in 1995.

    He has been practicing law for nearly 25 years.

    Crump has represented low-profile cases as well as notable ones, one being the Trayvon Martin death in 2012.

    As of 2020, Crump has been actively involved in representing the families of George Floyd, Jacob Blake, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor.

  • G. P. Rodriguez

    MCMICHAELS AND BRYAN FOUND GUILTY

    The verdict in the case of Ahmaud Arbery was decided on November 24.

    Travis McMichael was found guilty of malice murder, four counts of felony murder, two counts of aggrevated assault, false imprisonment, and criminal attempt to commit a felony.

    Gregory McMichael was found not guilty for the charge of malice murder, and guilty of four counts of felony murder, two counts of aggravated assault, false imprisonment, and criminal attempt to commit a felony.

    William Bryan was found guilty of aggravated assault and felony murder.

  • G. P. Rodriguez

    AHMAUD ARBERY'S MOM REACTION TO GUILTY VERDICTS

    Wanda Cooper-Jones broke down after the jury convicted Travis McMichael in the Glynn County Courthouse, in Brunswick, Georgia.

    Greg McMichael and his son, Travis McMichael, and a neighbor, William 'Roddie' Bryan, charged in the death of Ahmaud Arbery were convicted of murder in the fatal shooting that became part of a larger national reckoning on racial injustice.

    Credit: EPA
  • G. P. Rodriguez

    STATEMENT FROM PRESIDENT BIDEN ON AHMAUD ARBERY VERDICT

    “Ahmaud Arbery’s killing – witnessed by the world on video – is a devastating reminder of how far we have to go in the fight for racial justice in this country,” President Biden said in a statement shared to the White House website.

    “Mr. Arbery should be here today, celebrating the holidays with his mother, Wanda Cooper Jones, and his father, Marcus Arbery. Nothing can bring Mr. Arbery back to his family and to his community, but the verdict ensures that those who committed this horrible crime will be punished.”

    “While the guilty verdicts reflect our justice system doing its job, that alone is not enough,” President Biden added.

    “Instead, we must recommit ourselves to building a future of unity and shared strength, where no one fears violence because of the color of their skin.”

    “My administration will continue to do the hard work to ensure that equal justice under law is not just a phrase emblazoned in stone above the Supreme Court, but a reality for all Americans.”

  • G. P. Rodriguez

    VICE PRESIDENT KAMALA HARRIS ON AHMAUD ARBERY VERDICT: ‘WE FEEL THE WEIGHT OF GRIEF’

    “Today, the jury rendered its verdicts and the three defendants were found guilty of murdering Ahmaud Arbery,” Vice President Kamala Harris said in a statement.

    “Still, we feel the weight of grief. Ahmaud Arbery should be alive, and nothing can take away the pain that his mother Wanda Cooper-Jones, his father Marcus Arbery, and the entire Arbery family and community feel today. I share in that pain.”

    “These verdicts send an important message, but the fact remains that we still have work to do,” Vice President Harris added.

    “The defense counsel chose to set a tone that cast the attendance of ministers at the trial as intimidation and dehumanized a young Black man with racist tropes. The jury arrived at its verdicts despite these tactics.”

    “Ahmaud Arbery was a son. He was a brother. He was a friend. His life had meaning,” she continued.

    “We will not forget him. We honor him best by continuing the fight for justice.”

  • G. P. Rodriguez

    IS THE DEATH PENALTY LEGAL IN GEORGIA?

    Capital punishment is still legal in Georgia, and has been since it was reinstated in 1973.

    When the prosecution seeks the death penalty, the sentence is decided by the jury and must be voted unanimously.

    Over 35 people are currently on death row in Georgia.

    Death row is defined as a prison block or section for prisoners sentenced to death.

    In Georgia, the following crimes can be considered capital offenses: treason, aircraft hijacking, and murder.

  • G. P. Rodriguez

    WAS AHMAUD’S DEATH FILMED?

    The shooting incident was filmed.

    The footage appears to show Mr Arbery, who was wearing a white t-shirt and shorts, running past a truck.

    Two white men carrying guns are seen and shouting is heard.

    There is then a scuffle between one of the men and Mr Arbery while shots are fired before Arbery staggers and collapses in the footage.

  • G. P. Rodriguez

    WHY WAS AHMAUD ARBERY’S FATHER ASKED TO LEAVE THE COURTROOM?

    “I ask that whoever just made an outburst be removed from the court, please,” Walmsley said after Ahmaud Arbery’s father, Marcus Arbery Sr, reacted to the guilty verdict of Travis McMichael.

    “If you feel like you need to make a comment regarding the verdict, I ask that you step outside the courtroom now,” he added.

  • G. P. Rodriguez

    AHMAUD ARBERY’S FATHER ASKED TO LEAVE COURTROOM

    Judge Timothy Walmsley asked Marcus Arbery Sr, the father of Ahmaud Arbery, to leave the courtroom after the judge started to read off the verdict and Marcus reacted.

    When Judge Walmsley began to reveal the guilty verdict of Travis McMichael, Marcus cried out, “Woohoo!”

  • G. P. Rodriguez

    SENTENCING DATE NOT YET SET

    Although a jury found Travis McMichael, his father Gregory McMichael, and William “Roddie” Bryan Jr guilty of murder in the death of Ahmaud Arbery, their sentencing date has not been set.

  • G. P. Rodriguez

    BEN CRUMP ON AHMAUD ARBERY VERDICT: ‘NEVER STOP RUNNING FOR AHMAUD’

    Crump continued, “Today certainly indicates progress, but we are nowhere close to the finish line.”

    “America, you raised your voices for Ahmaud. Now is not the time to let them quiet. Keep marching. Keep fighting for what is right.”

    “And never stop running for Ahmaud.”

  • G. P. Rodriguez

    BEN CRUMP ON AHMAUD ARBERY VERDICT: ‘TODAY IS NOT ONE FOR CELEBRATION’

    “While today is not one for celebration, it is one for reflection,” Crump added in his statement.

    “This case, by all accounts, should have been opened and closed…the violent stalking and lynching of Ahmaud Arbery was documented on video for the world to witness.”

    “But yet, because of the deep cracks, flaws, and biases in our systems, we were left to wonder if we would ever see justice.”

    Source: Read Full Article