Three men, William “Roddie” Bryan, Travis McMichael, and Greg McMichael, who were convicted in November for the murder of Ahmaud Arbery were sentenced Friday. In advance of the sentencing, Arbery’s mother spoke, sharing a little bit about who her son was as a person, and giving an impassioned plea to the court for a maximum sentence.
In the video below, Wanda Cooper-Jones, the mother of Ahmaud Arbery, tells of her baby boy, born on Mother’s Day, with “a smile so bright he lit up a room…a loving baby who never seemed to tire of hugs, cuddling, and kisses.” Of the three men convicted in his murder, she speaks of the killers’ bias towards the young man, and their efforts to scare him before the murder.
"Ahmaud never said a word to them, he never threatened them, he just wanted to be left alone … They were fully committed to their crimes. Let them be fully committed for the consequences," Ahmaud Arbery's mother tells the judge at the sentencing for her son's killers. pic.twitter.com/352mjmgUns
— CBS News (@CBSNews) January 7, 2022
“These men have chose to lie and attack my son and his surviving family. They each have no remorse and do not deserve any leniency. This wasn’t a case of mistaken identity or mistaken fact. They chose to target my son because they didn’t want him in their community. They chose to treat him differently than other people who frequently visited their community, and when they couldn’t sufficiently scare him or intimidate him, they killed him.”
According to the , the father and son, Travis and Greg McMichael, who pursued Arbery in a pickup truck and confronted him with a firearm, were both sentenced to life plus 20 years, with no possibility of parole. Their friend and neighbor, William Bryan, who followed in a second vehicle and took cellphone video, is also sentenced to life, but wth the possibility of parole, although Georgia law would not make this an option for thirty years. Bryan is currently 52 years old.
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Steph Bazzle reports on social issues and religion for Hill Reporter. She focuses on stories that speak to everyone's right to practice what they believe in and receive the support of their communities and government officials. You can reach her at Steph@HillReporter.com