McMichaels “honestly believed that what they were doing was the right thing”
After about 10 hours of deliberation, jurors on Wednesday indicted the three white men accused of killing Ahmaud Arbery, the black man who was stalked and shot dead while jogging in their Georgia neighborhood.
Greg McMichael, his son Travis McMichael, and their neighbor William “Rudy” Brian face life sentences. The judge will decide whether or not the sentence comes with the possibility of parole.
After the guilty verdicts of the three men were handed down in Georgia, Arbery’s parents are seen walking out of the courtroom with their heads held high. His mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, thanked her supporters.
explainer: The trio is guilty of killing Ahmoud Arbery. What now?
Lawyers who represented McMichael addressed the media in court following the verdicts.
“This is a very difficult day for Travis McMichael and Greg McMichael,” said attorney Jason Sheffield. “These are two men who sincerely believed that what they were doing was the right thing to do. However, the Glenn County jury, having spoken, found them guilty and will be sentenced.”
Sheffield said it was a “very disappointing and sad umpire” for his legal team.
“But we also understand that this is a day of celebration for the Arbery family,” he continued. “We can’t tear our eyes away from how they feel about it. We understand that they feel they got justice today. We respect that we respect that because we respect the jury trial system.”
Attorney Robert Rubin said an appeal process had been planned.
“I’m sure our decision to keep the case here and not move to change venue will be debated to the point of nausea, and will certainly become part of the appeal now,” Robin said.
Lawyers were asked about the jury’s request to watch the video again that showed Arbery being shot.
“We’re glad they wanted to see the video because we felt from day one that the video showed that Travis McMichael acted in self-defence,” Robin said. “Obviously the jury felt very different from what we did and we may have had a little tunnel vision. I’ve always thought the video was just as helpful to us as Greg McMichael said at the very moment it happened.”
“I can tell you, frankly, that these guys are sorry for what happened to Ahmaud Arbery,” Sheffield said. “They are sorry he died. They are sorry for the tragedy that happened because of the choices they made to get out there and try to stop him.”
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