Judge asks Ahmaud Arbery’s father to leave the courtroom after he cheers “guilty” verdict
Judge Timothy Walmsley asked Marcus Arbery Sr., the father of Ahmaud Arbery, to leave the courtroom after he reacted to the guilty verdict of Travis McMichael – the man who shot his son.
Arbery exclaimed “Woohoo!” after the first guilty verdict was read.
“I ask that whoever just made an outburst be removed from the court, please,” Walmsley said.
“If you feel like you need to make a comment regarding the verdict, I ask that you step outside the courtroom now,” he added.
Outside of the courtroom there were chants of “We got justice,” CNN’s Sara Sidner said, adding, “That is the sentiment of the crowd outside.”
People have gathered outside the courthouse after a jury found all three men charged in the killing of Ahmaud Arbery guilty of murder.
The jury deliberated for more than 11 hours.
CNN’s Sara Sidner said most of the people have been waiting outside the whole time the jury was deliberating, some have even been outside the courthouse for the entire two weeks the trial was going on.
They have been chanting Arbery’s name, saying, “We’ve got justice.” Some people are waving flags. There were screams of relief and yelling when the first verdict was read, Sidner reported.
All three of the men accused of chasing and killing 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery have been found guilty of murder in the jogger’s death.
Here’s a breakdown of the verdict:
- Travis McMichael: The jury found Travis McMichael guilty of malice murder, four counts of felony murder, two counts of aggravated assault, one count of false imprisonment and one count of criminal attempt to commit a felony. The younger McMichael now faces a sentence of up to life in prison without the possibility of parole on each of the murder charges, 20 years on each of the aggravated assault charges, 10 years on the false imprisonment charge and five years on the criminal attempt to commit a felony charge. The judge will decide whether his sentences will be served consecutively or concurrently.
- Gregory McMichael: Travis’s father, Gregory McMichael, was found guilty of four counts of felony murder, two counts of aggravated assault, false imprisonment and criminal attempt to commit a felony. He was acquitted only on a malice murder charge. He now faces a sentence of up to life in prison without the possibility of parole on each of the four felony murder charges, 20 years on each of the aggravated assault charges, 10 years on the false imprisonment charge and five years on the criminal attempt to commit a felony charge.
- William “Roddie” Bryan Jr.: Their neighbor, William “Roddie” Bryan Jr., was found guilty of three counts of felony murder, one count of aggravated assault, one count of false imprisonment and one count of criminal attempt to commit a felony. He was acquitted of malice murder, one count of felony murder and one count of aggravated assault. He now faces a sentence of up to life in prison without the possibility of parole on each of the murder charges, 20 years on the aggravated assault charge, 10 years on the false imprisonment charge and 5 years on the criminal attempt to commit a felony charge.
All three men have also been indicted on separate federal hate crime charges, which include interference with rights and attempted kidnapping. Travis and Gregory McMichael were also charged with using, carrying, brandishing and discharging a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence. All three men pleaded not guilty to the federal charges.
The federal trial is set to take place in February. Since they were being held on the state charges, there has been no federal bond hearing yet. If convicted on the federal charges, they could face an additional penalty of up to life in prison.
Despite criticism that the jury in the Ahmaud Arbery killing trial included only one Black person, CNN senior legal analyst Laura Coates said they all came to the same conclusion: “That a human being was hunted down and killed.”
“A lot was made about the racial composition of this jury … to have only one Black juror, to have the defense counsel refuse to want to allow Black pastors in the courtroom, criticism for the prosecution not raising race enough. Twelve human beings recognized that a human being was hunted down and killed. Why? Because he was running. And, according to that 911 call that the jurors wanted to hear, the emergency to these men was a Black man running,” Coates said.
“Now, this tells you a lot about what we perceive to mean about the jury pool, what we think about the composition of jurors. But 12 human beings — 11 White, one Black — came to the same conclusion of what they saw: A Black man hunted down on the streets of Brunswick, Georgia. Why? Simply because he existed and had the audacity to run and not stop when three White strangers told him they’d blow his head off if he didn’t,” Coates added.
In Glynn County, where the trial took place, more than 26% of residents are Black while about 69% are White, according to 2019 Census data.