The three Georgia men responsible for the murder of Ahmaud Arbery in 2020 were sentenced Friday.
Travis McMichael, 35, and his father, Greg McMichael, 66, were sentenced to life in prison without parole plus 20 years for the lesser charges.
William “Roddie” Bryan, 52, was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole, which he can apply for after serving 30 years.
Before reading the sentences, Judge Timothy Walmsley enforced one minute of silence in the courtroom to reflect “a fraction” of the five minutes of “terror” Arbery must have felt while being chased down.
“Ahmaud Arbery was hunted down and shot, and he was killed because individuals here in this courtroom took the law into their own hands,” he said.
On the day Arbery was killed, the McMichaels had pursued him in their pickup truck with guns. Bryan joined, but was unarmed, and recorded part of the confrontation on his phone.
After shooting Arbery in the chest, Travis McMichael testified that he acted in self-defense when Arbery grabbed his shotgun.
Their lawyer argued that the McMichaels thought Arbery was a burglar and recognized him from surveillance footage.
Fox News reported that the “men face a federal hate crimes trial for the same murder and jury selection is slated to begin in that case Feb. 7”.
The victim’s father, Marcus Arbery, said “I pray that no one in this courtroom ever has to do what we had to do, bury their child”.