Conviction of Arbery killers for hate crimes moved to August


FILE – This May 17, 2020 archive photo shows a recently painted mural by Ahmaud Arbery in Brunswick, Georgia, where the 25-year-old man was shot and killed in February. The white men convicted of hate crimes for pursuing and killing Ahmaud Arbery while he was running in their Georgia neighborhood are set to face federal court charges this summer. U.S. District Court Judge Lisa Godbey Wood has scheduled hearings for all three men on Aug. Father and son Greg and Travis McMichael and their neighbor, William “Roddie” Bryan, each face a maximum life sentence. It is possible that the penalty date may change. Prosecutors asked the judge in a legal filing on Tuesday, April 19, 2022, to postpone the hearings until later in August. (AP Photo/Sarah Blake Morgan, File)


A federal judge on Wednesday postponed the sentencing of the white men convicted of hate crimes in the murder of Ahmaud Arbery until August 8.

U.S. District Court Judge Lisa Godbey Wood agreed to postpone the hearings for a week after prosecutors cited a scheduling conflict. She arranged for the three defendants to be sentenced separately in hearings two hours apart.

Father and son Greg and Travis McMichael and neighbor William “Roddie” Bryan face every possible life sentence after they were convicted in February of hate crimes by a federal jury that concluded they pursued and killed 25-year-old Arbery because he was black.

All three defendants are already serving life sentences until February 23, 2020, killing them after being found guilty of murder in a Georgia court last fall.

The McMichaels armed themselves and used a pickup truck to chase Arbery after seeing him running in their neighborhood just outside the port city of Brunswick. Bryan joined the chase in his own truck and recorded a cell phone video of Travis McMichael shooting Arbery with a shotgun.

None of the three men were arrested until more than two months later, when the graphic video of Arbery’s shooting leaked online and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation took over the case from local law enforcement.

Prosecutors during the federal trial uncovered more than two dozen text messages and social media posts in which Travis McMichael and Bryan repeatedly used racist remarks. Witnesses also testified to hearing racist comments from both McMichaels.

Defense attorneys denied that the McMichaels and Bryan were targeted by Arbery because of his race. They argued that the men acted on a serious, albeit false, suspicion that Arbery had committed crimes in their neighborhood.

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