On Tuesday, the three men convicted of killing Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia in 2020 were found guilty of committing federal hate crimes along with other offenses.
36-year-old Travis McMichael, 66-year-old Gregory McMichael, and 52-year-old William “Roddie” Bryan were found guilty of violating Arbery’s civil rights by attacking him because of his race, and of attempted kidnapping, according to Reuters.
On Feb. 23 2020, the trio chased down Arbery, who had been jogging in his Brunswick neighborhood, in their truck and shot him, claiming during trial that they were trying to effect a citizen’s arrest of Arbery.
According to Reuters, the jury deliberated for around four hours over two days before returning the guilty verdict.
The McMichaels were also convicted of a federal firearms charge. Bryan was not charged with a weapons offense.
According to Reuters, the hate-crimes felony, the most serious of the charges the defendants faced, carries a maximum penalty of life in prison.
Late last year, the three men were found guilty of murder, amongst other charges.
In January, a judge sentenced the father and son to life in prison with no parole, and Bryan the same sentence with the possibility of parole.
During the trial, the McMichaels insisted that their actions were not on the basis of race, but rather self-defense and a belief that Arbery appeared suspicious after the neighborhood had experienced a series of break-ins.
According to Reuters: “But trial testimony revealed there had been no burglaries, but thefts from unlocked cars. And federal prosecutors presented testimony from 20 witnesses and other evidence they said showed that the three men had long histories of using slurs and making racist statements. The defense rested its case after calling just one witness.”
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