Monday, August 8, 2022

Ahmaud Arbery's killers set to be sentenced for hate crime in Federal Court

The three white men convicted of killing 25-year-old Black jogger Ahmaud Arbery because of his race are due back in the Brunswick federal courthouse on today for sentencing, reported GPB/NPR's Benjamin Payne.

The three white men who murdered 25-year-old Black jogger Ahmaud Arbery in 2020 outside Brunswick are scheduled to be sentenced Monday for their federal hate crime convictions.

Travis McMichael, his father Greg McMichael, and neighbor William “Roddie” Bryan are already serving life sentences, after they were found guilty in a separate state trial last year of murdering Arbery as he was running through the Satilla Shores neighborhood in Glynn County.

The three men could each face an additional life sentence, after a federal jury in February found that they killed Arbery because of his race. They were also found guilty of attempting to kidnap Arbery. Additionally, the McMichaels were convicted on firearms charges.

U.S. District Judge Lisa Godbey Wood will hand down their sentences in separate hearings at the Brunswick federal courthouse, beginning with Travis McMichael at 10 a.m., then Greg McMichael at 1 p.m., and Bryan at 3 p.m.

Before the hate crimes trial began, Wood rejected plea deals that prosecutors offered to the McMichaels, which would have seen them serve time first in federal prison, which is generally seen as preferable to Georgia's state prisons.

Brunswick-based attorney Page Pate, who is not involved with the case but has practiced federal law for more than 25 years, told GPB News that the terms of those proposed plea deals were highly unusual.

“I cannot think of a single time where I've even had discussions about having the person's federal time basically take priority over state time, when there's been a prior state conviction,” Pate said. “That almost never happens in federal court.”

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