Jury Finds Ahmaud Arbery’s Killers Guilty of Federal Hate Crimes

A federal jury in Georgia on Feb. 22 found the three white men convicted of murdering Ahmaud Arbery, a Black man, guilty of hate crimes and other charges.

After a day of deliberation, the jury — made up of eight white people, three Black people, and one Hispanic person — concluded that the defendants violated Arbery’s civil rights and targeted him because of his race.

The jury found father and son Gregory and Travis McMichael and their neighbor William “Roddie” Bryan guilty of all five separate federal charges, including hate crimes and attempted kidnapping.

The jurors also convicted Travis of discharging a shotgun and Greg of brandishing a revolver.

The conviction came a day before the second anniversary of Arbery’s murder, which was the first federal hate crime conviction in the history of Georgia.

United States District Court Judge Lisa Godbey Wood said she would schedule sentencing after the filing of pre-sentencing reports.

Wood told the defendants that they have two weeks to file any appeal.

The defendants may be sentenced to life in prison on top of the life sentences they already received at a state trial in January.

A state trial already convicted the three men of murder and handed down life sentences, but the prosecutors in that case largely avoided racial bias as the men’s motive for chasing down and killing Arbery while he was out for a jog in the coastal city of Brunswick.

The federal hate crimes trial centered on the history of the three men’s racial bias.

Prosecutors told the court during closing arguments that the defendants were driven by “racial assumptions, racial resentment, and racial anger.”

Georgia has recently officially declared Feb. 23 as Ahmaud Arbery Day.


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