- Jurors unanimously found accused Travis McMichael guilty on all nine counts, including the heaviest, deliberate murder
- The father of the main accused, Gregory McMicheal, and another participant in the incident, William Bryan, were also convicted of most of the charges, including complicity in the murder.
- The case concerned one of the most high-profile incidents in the wake of a wave of nationwide anti-racist and anti-police protests following the death of George Floyd
- The accused suspected the 25-year-old of a series of incursions and thefts on construction sites. The video shows how a man armed with a shotgun fires several shots in the chest during a struggle, inflicting fatal wounds on him
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The court will decide on the penalty for the accused at a later date. Georgia law states that the most serious charge may be life sentence with parole, absolute life imprisonment or the death penalty. Racial issues aroused controversy, including the jury, and comments from the convicted attorney about Arbery’s hygiene.
The rest of the article below the video.
The case concerned one of the most high-profile incidents of the past year, which took place in the wake of a wave of nationwide anti-racist and anti-police protests following the death of George Floyd.
The three defendants, who suspected 25-year-old Arbery of a series of incursions and thefts at construction sites, chased after him in two cars. In a video recorded by Bryan, you can see Travis McMichael, armed with a shotgun, trying to stop the African American, and in the course of a struggle, he fires several shots in the chest, inflicting fatal wounds on him.
The men and their lawyers explained to the court that they had attempted to carry out a citizen capture while awaiting the arrival of the police and that they had sufficient grounds to suspect Arbery of a crime. Travis McMichael also testified that he was acting in self-defense because he was afraid that Arbery would take his gun and shoot him.
The prosecution argued that by approaching an unarmed victim with a gun, McMichael lost his right to plead self-defense. Prosecutors also argued that the McMichael’s could not be sure that Arbery was the perpetrator of the burglaries, and therefore had no right to detain him.
– It was a hard fight, a long fight. I never thought that day would come, but God is good. Thank you to all who marched and who prayed – said Wanda Cooper-Jones, Arbery’s mother.
– Ahmaud’s parents are proof that if you are determined, justice will come … Let the world know that a jury of 11 white and one black in the Deep South has ruled that black life does matter – said Reverend Al Sharpton after the verdict , a famous pastor and African American rights activist. “We have many more battles ahead of us, but it was an important battle (…) together we can defeat the lynching mob,” he added to the cheers of the gathered crowd of demonstrators at the Brunswick courtroom.
– Today is a good day. This is proof that everyone’s life matters. No one should go through this, regardless of skin color, said the victim’s father, Marcus Arbery.
US President Joe Biden also referred to the case in a statement, saying that although Wednesday’s verdict shows that the system works, “it’s not enough.”
“We must re-engage in building a future based on unity and shared strength, where nobody is afraid of violence because of the color of the skin,” said the president.
The trial, which lasted for over a week, was intensively monitored every day and commented on by the American media. It took the lay judges two days and over 11 hours of deliberation to make a unanimous decision. Racial issues also aroused controversy, including the jury and comments from the defendants’ lawyer about the victim’s hygiene.
All three inmates may soon face additional charges from the federal prosecution for racial hate crimes. The trial in this case is to start in February next year.
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