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Ahmaud Arbery's Killers Found Guilty Of Murder, Racially Charged High-Profile Trial Concludes

Nov. 24 2021, Published 1:44 p.m. ET

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The verdict is in.

On Wednesday, white Satilla Shores residents Travis McMichael, his father, Gregory McMichael, and their neighbor, William "Roddie" Bryan Jr., were convicted of murdering Ahmaud Arbery – a Black, unarmed 25-year-old jogger who they chased, trapped and shot dead in Georgia almost two years ago.

Travis, 35, was found guilty on all charges, including malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault and false imprisonment. Gregory, 65, was found guilty of felony murder, aggravated assault, false imprisonment and criminal attempt to commit a felony. Roddie, 52 was found guilty of felony murder, aggravated assault, false imprisonment and criminal attempt to commit a felony.

All three men will remain in custody until their sentencing, which has not yet been set.

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On February 23, 2020 – in a neighborhood near Brunswick – Gregory saw Arbery running past his house and suspected that he had committed burglary or theft, even though no evidence of such ever emerged.

Armed and in one vehicle, the McMichaels chased Ahmaud, who was on foot. Bryan – who was in another vehicle and recorded both the pursuit and the shooting, which went viral – saw the chase and joined in independently, even though he was not sure if Arbery had done anything wrong.

After Travis exited his vehicle and wielded a shotgun, he and Ahmaud engaged in a physical confrontation, during which Travis shot him dead.

Travis testified that he tried to "de-escalate" the physical struggle but that he was forced to make a "life-or-death" decision.

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Throughout the high-profile 10-day trial, the defense team tried desperately to present Arbery as a dirty criminal.

During closing arguments on Monday, one of those attorneys took it a step further.

"Turning Ahmaud Arbery into a victim after the choices that he made does not reflect the reality of what brought Ahmaud Arbery to Satilla Shores in his khaki shorts with no socks to cover his long, dirty toenails," Laura Hogue told jurors, eliciting an audible gasp from the people in the courtroom.

Among them was the late victim's mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, who got up and left after hearing the remark. "I gotta get out of here," she said on her way out.

Prosecutors maintained that Ahmaud's only crime was being Black and daring to run away from his attackers.

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