The three white men who murdered Ahmaud Arbery have been sentenced to life in prison.
On Friday, Judge Timothy Walmsley sentenced Travis McMichael and his father, Gregory McMichael, to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Their neighbor William "Roddie" Bryan Jr. has also been handed down a life sentence with the possibility of parole in 30 years since he cooperated with investigators. They were previously convicted on a number of charges, including felony murder and false imprisonment.
All three participated in the 25-year-old Black man's murder, which happened in February 2020 while Arbery was jogging through a predominantly white neighborhood outside of Brunswick, Georgia. According to the defendants, they believed Arbery was responsible for a number of recent home robberies, spurring them to chase him down in a car and imprison him inside the vehicle before Travis shot him at close range, with Bryan filming the entire thing.
"A neighbor is more than the people who just own property around your house," Walmsley told the court, per the New York Times. "In assuming the worst in others, we show our worst character."
The judge then went on to explain that his decision was partially informed by footage of the killers' "callous" words and actions, as well as their lack of remorse over Arbery's death. Prior to announcing his decision, Walmsley also asked the court to hold a minute of silence to understand a "fraction" of the "terror that must have been in [Arbery's] mind," while he was being pursued by the McMichaels and Bryan for five minutes.
"Remorse isn't simply a statement of regret. Remorse is something that's felt and demonstrated," the judge continued. "After Ahmaud Arbery fell, the McMichaels turned their backs."
The McMichaels and Bryan will also be tried on federal hate crime charges next month.
Read the New York Times's report here.
Photo via Getty / Megan Varner