All three Georgia men indicted on murder charges in the death of Ahmaud Arbery have been found guilty of murder.
The almost all-white jury convicted Travis McMichael of malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, false imprisonment and criminal attempt to commit a felony, with his father Gregory McMichael and William "Roddie" Bryan Jr. being found guilty of all counts except malice murder, as well. Now all three will face a potential sentence of life in prison.
On February 23, 2020, the McMichaels and Bryan chased down and shot the 25 year-old while he was running through a neighborhood outside of Brunswick, Georgia, believing him to be a person responsible for a series of house robberies. Arbery was pursued by all three defendants in a car and at one point imprisoned inside the vehicle before he was shot at close range with a shotgun after attempting to flea.
The viral video, filmed by Bryan, that first drew attention to the case and eventually led to all three arrests months after the fact became a lightning rod at the height of last year's Black Lives Matter protests, with Arbery's family and civil rights leaders likening the shooting to a modern-day lynching.
In her closing statement, lead prosecutor Linda Dunikoski told the court that the defendants made "assumptions and driveway decisions" that ultimately led to Arbery's death, attempting to make a citizen's arrest with no "immediate knowledge" of a crime having occurred.
"If you determine that this was not a citizen's arrest, this was not legitimate, he had no probable cause, he can't do this based on the law, then guess what?" Dunikoski said, according to NBC News. "They're not justified in killing him. They are not justified in any of the felonies they committed against him."
After the verdict, Arbery's mother Wanda Cooper-Jones said, "I've never thought this day would come, but God is good. Everybody, thank you." She added that "he will now rest in peace."