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black lives matter

Ahmaud Arbery's father bursts out in a cheer after jury finds 3 men guilty of murder

The three white men on trial for the killing of Ahmaud Arbery were all found guilty of felony murder on Wednesday, reports BuzzFeed News.

Arbery, a 25-year-old Black man, died in 2020 when Greg McMichael, his son Travis McMichael, and their neighbor William "Roddie" Bryan chased and confronted Arbery while he was on a run. The three men chased him in a truck, and Travis McMichael fatally shot him. The younger McMichael was convicted on all nine counts he was facing, including malice murder, felony murder, and aggravated assault.

Greg McMichael was convicted of four counts of felony murder and aggravated assault, among other charges, but was found not guilty of malice murder. Bryan was convicted of several charges of felony murder and aggravated assault, but cleared of others, and cleared of malice murder. All three now face a sentence of life in prison, reports BuzzFeed.

As Judge Timothy Walmsley read out the verdict, cheering could be heard coming from the courtroom. CNN reports the person who cheered, and was then removed from the courtroom at Walmsley's request, was Arbery's father, Marcus Arbery.

Arbery's mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, spoke outside the courtroom to say she "never thought this day would come." "It's been a long fight. It's been a hard fight," she said, thanking everyone who "fought this fight with us."

Rev. Al Sharpton also gave remarks after the verdict. "And let the word go forth all over the world, that a jury of 11 whites and 1 Black in the Deep South stood up in the courtroom and said that Black lives do matter," he said. "Tomorrow, in all our joy today, there will be an empty chair at Wanda's table," he continued. "Ahmaud will not be at Thanksgiving tomorrow. But she can look at that chair and say to Ahmaud, 'I fought a good fight and I got you some justice.'"

As Marcus Arbery celebrated the verdict inside, crowds of supporters also cheered outside, chanting "we got justice," reports CNN. A sentencing date for the convicted men has not been set. They also face separate federal hate crime charges, to which they have pleaded not guilty.