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Murderers receive life sentences

Judge said three men hunted down Arbery

By Valerie Fields Hill 
Texas Metro News

Travis and Gregory McMichael and William Bryan
Travis and Gregory McMichael and William Bryan, / Photo Credit: NPR

A Georgia judge sentenced three white men convicted of killing Ahmaud Arbery to life in prison Friday afternoon. He called the 25-year-old African American’s shooting “callous.”

Georgia Superior Court Judge Timothy Walmsley said father and son Gregory and Travis McMichael and their neighbor, William “Roddie” Bryan, “hunted down and shot” Arbery and the McMichaels showed no remorse for doing so.

“He was killed because individuals in this courtroom took the law into their own hands,” Walmsley said during the sentencing, which was broadcast live by network news stations.

The McMichaels’ sentences do not carry the possibility of parole, while Bryan must serve 30 years of his sentence before being considered for parole.

Ahmaud Arbery
Ahmaud Arbery, / Photo Credit:

In Texas, Prairie View A&M University criminology researcher Camille Gibson said the sentencing was “fair.”

“I would say that it appears like there is some fairness here,” said Dr. Gibson, who studies interactions between police officers and Black and Hispanic drivers and pedestrians.

Dr. Gibson contrasted the sentencing of Travis McMichael and Gregory McMichael, a former police officer, with the case against Kyle Rittenhouse, the 17-year-old who killed two men and shot a third last August in Kenosha, Wis. in the midst of racially-motivated demonstrations against police shootings of unarmed Black men.

“I was disappointed with the Rittenhouse verdict,” she said, “But I understand the differences there.” 

Arbery’s killers pursued him for at least five minutes as he jogged through the McMichaels’ subdivision near Brunswick, Ga. By comparison, Rittenhouse was running away from those whom he testified he feared before shooting them.

“In this case,” Dr. Gibson, referring to Ahmaud Arbery’s killers, “the difference is the persons involved had what we called in the legal world ‘dirty hands’. “With the Arbery situation, the three persons involved started it (the confrontation). They had ‘dirty hands’.”

This is a developing story. Read Texas Metro News for more coverage of the sentencing of the convicted murderers of Ahmaud Arbery. 

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