All three defendants were found guilty by a jury on the second day of deliberations Wednesday in the Cobb County, Georgia, trial for the murder of 25-year-old black jogger Ahmaud Arbery, who was shot to death while jogging early in 2020.
Travis McMichael was found guilty on all counts faced by the three defendants, including “malice murder,” felony murder, aggravated assault, and wrongful imprisonment. His father, Greg McMichael, was found not guilty of “malice murder,” but guilty on the other counts. A third man, William Bryan, was found not guilty of “malice murder” and of one count each of felony murder and aggravated assault, but was found guilty of another count of felony murder and the remaining charges.
The convicted men could each face life sentences, pending any future appeals likely to be filed by their attorneys.
The case stemmed from a confrontation that ensued after the McMichaels stopped Arbery in Brunswick, Georgia, in the road, apparently believing him to be a burglar. Arbery was shot in the struggle. There was no prosecution, initially, until footage of the killing, taken by Bryan, surfaced and caused public outrage. The defense argued, to no avail, that the three men were attempting to carryout a lawful citizens’ arrest, and that they had acted in self-defense in shooting Arbery.
Numerous media commenters had claimed in advance that Arbery and his family would not receive justice because the racial makeup of the jury was disproportionately white, with only one black juror on the panel. However, after the trial, advocates for the Arbery family were jubilant about the decision and thanked the jury for considering the case carefully and impartially.
Though the trial became racially and politically charged, it was not so initially; the Arbery family’s attorney, Lee Merritt, spoke frequently with Breitbart News and acknowledged that then-President Donald Trump had been helpful in the case.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.