Ahmaud Arbery trial: Guilty verdicts were an answer to prayers, family says. Here’s what comes next

While reading the first verdict, Marcus Arbery Sr., Arbery’s father, jumped up and cheered, according to a news reporter in the room.

“I didn’t see this day in 2020, I didn’t expect this day to come,” said Wanda Cooper-Jones, Ahmed Arbery’s mother, standing outside the court gates after the verdicts.

She thanked God and everyone who walked and prayed for her family.

His mother said to a crowd of people who celebrated after hearing the news, “Quiz, whom you know as Ahmed, I know as Quiz. He will rest in peace now.”

“Today’s verdict was a fact-based verdict, based on evidence and that was our goal, to present that to the jury so they can do the right thing,” Prosecutor Linda Denikowski said, adding “the jury system.” working in this country.

Now, questions about the sentencing, appeal process, and additional federal charges of Travis McMichael, Gregory McMichael and William “Rudi” Brian Jr. must be answered.

The trio face the possibility of life in prison

Judge Timothy Walmsley has not yet set a sentencing date for the three convicted men.

A jury on Wednesday found Travis McMichael guilty of premeditated murder, four counts of murder, two counts of aggravated assault, one count of false imprisonment, and one count of felony attempted felony in Arbery’s death on February 23, 2020, directly abroad. Brunswick, Georgia.

His father, Gregory McMichael, was only acquitted of premeditated murder and convicted of the other charges he and his son faced.

Brian was convicted of three murders, one count of aggravated assault, one count of false imprisonment, and one count of criminal attempted felony. He was acquitted of the felony of premeditated murder, the felony of premeditated murder, and the felony of aggravated assault.

The men now face up to life in prison without the possibility of parole for each count of the murders, 20 years for each of the aggravated assault counts, 10 years for one count of false imprisonment, and 5 years for criminal attempt to commit a felony. Walmsley will decide whether the sentences are to be carried out consecutively or concurrently.

Prosecutors indicated that they will seek life sentences without the possibility of parole.

Defense attorneys plan to appeal

Jason Sheffield and Bob Rubin, Travis McMichael’s attorneys, said they intend to appeal the ruling.

When asked about the venue of the trial, Sheffield said he was sure their decision not to apply for a change of venue would be discussed “like nausea” and could become part of a future appeal, but said they had no further thoughts on the decision.

“I can tell you frankly, these guys are sorry for what happened to Ahmed Arbery,” Sheffield said. “They’re sorry for his passing, and they’re sorry for the tragedy that happened because of the choices they made to get out there and try to stop him.”

Kevin Gough, Brian’s attorney, said he plans to appeal the decision on his client, noting “we believe the appellate courts will overturn this conviction.”

During the trial, Gough made statements that were widely considered insensitive, and asked the court to prevent prominent black pastors from sitting on the public balcony. One of the plaintiffs told CNN on Wednesday that the decision to raise the case may have been intended to aid the appeal.

Gough said on November 11 that he had “nothing personally” against the Reverend Al Sharpton, who was present alongside the Arbery family, adding: “We don’t want any more black pastors coming here or other Jesse Jackson, regardless. Who was here earlier this week, I sat down with the victim’s family to try to sway the jury on this case.”

Prosecutors in the trial of Ahmed Arbery's killers explain why they trust the jury despite its racial makeup
Walmsley ruled that as long as court proceedings were not disrupted, there would be no blanket ban. Gough apologized for his remarks the next day.
Reverend Jesse Jackson had not appeared at the time of the comments, but later sat on the show with Arbery’s parents.

Attorney Donniekowski, told CNN reporter Jim Acosta after the ruling that Goff’s comments about black pastors – although presented without a jury present – were strategic.

“Mr. Gough is a very, very good attorney, and he has done on purpose, on purpose and strategic, I believe, what he did in trying to introduce some potential errors into the case should she lose the case and appear on appeal.”

Federal charges await

According to the US Department of Justice, all three were indicted in April on separate federal charges related to hate crimes, including interference with rights and attempted kidnapping. Travis and Gregory McMichael have also been charged with the use, carrying, brandishing and firing of a firearm during and in connection with the commission of a violent crime.

Federal prosecutors said the three men “used force and threats of force to intimidate and interfere with Arbery’s right to use a public street because of his race.”

McMichaels and Brian pleaded not guilty to the federal charges.

Biden says guilty verdicts in Arbery's murder reflect 'our justice system doing its job'

“We are deeply disappointed that the Department of Justice purchased the false narrative that was disseminated by the media and prosecutors,” Sheffield and Rubin, on behalf of Travis McMichael, said after the federal indictment.

Arbery’s attorney, Sr. At the time: “This is a significant milestone in America’s arduous march toward racial justice, and we commend the Department of Justice for handling this heinous act for what it is – purely evil, racially motivated hate crime.”

A federal trial is scheduled for February. Since they were held on state charges, there hasn’t been a federal bond hearing yet.

If convicted on federal charges, they could face an additional sentence of up to life in prison.

CNN’s Chris Boyett, Amir Vera, Angela Barajas, and Madeline Holcomb contributed to this report.


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