The three white men convicted of murdering Ahmaud Arbery have been sentenced to life in prison.
Greg McMichael, Travis McMichael, and William Bryan were convicted of murder in November after chasing down Arbery, a 25-year-old Black man. Travis McMichael fatally shot him, and all three men were found guilty of felony murder. On Friday, they were each sentenced to life in prison, the McMichaels without the possibility of parole, reports The Associated Press.
"We are all accountable for our own actions," Judge Timothy Walmsley said. "Sometimes, in today's day and age, that statement is lost upon many. And today the defendants are being held accountable for their actions. ... Taking the law into your own hands is a dangerous endeavor."
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Unlike Greg and Travis McMichael, Bryan was given the possibility of parole after 30 years. According to The New York Times, the lead prosecutor said Bryan should be eligible for parole because of his cooperation with investigators.
Members of Arbery's family delivered emotional remarks during the sentencing hearing. "This wasn't a case of mistaken identity or mistaken fact," said his mother. "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." A defense attorney for Travis McMichael said his actions were "reckless" but that "this was not a planned murder" and was instead "a fight over a gun that led to Mr. Arbery's death," per AP.
Following Friday's sentencing, the Times reports the case is expected to be appealed to the Georgia Supreme Court. CNN reports that when the sentence was read, Arbery's family "was crying, his father, his mother, they were crying."
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