Killers of Ahmaud Arbery Found Guilty in Trial

Sophia Khan, Staff Writer

In February 2020, 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery was shot and murdered in a Georgia neighborhood. Arbery was falsely identified as the perpetrator of a break-in by Gregory McMichael, Travis McMichael, and William “Roddie” Bryan. During the dispute, a total of three bullets were fired.

Two months after the killing, a video surfaced which depicted the altercation between Arbery and the three men, resulting in the Georgia Bureau of Investigation taking charge of the case and the arrests of the three men. 

Ahmaud’s relatives recall him as a dedicated former athlete who was slain while out for an afternoon jog. Gregory McMichael, his son Travis McMichael, and William “Roddie” Bryan were charged with a variety of offenses, including murder and aggravated assault.

Throughout the trial, the prosecution argued that racism played a major role in the killing. Lead prosecutor, Linda Dunikoski stated, “All three of these defendants did everything they did based on assumptions – not on facts, not on evidence.” 

The defense contended that the connotation of this occurrence was a citizen’s arrest. According to Gregory McMichael, Arbery resembled a suspect who perpetrated several break-ins. Police refuted these assertions, claiming that no reports of these alleged break-ins were submitted. Furthermore, the defense claimed self-defense, with Travis McMichael declaring in court, “It was evident that he was assaulting me, that if he had grabbed the shotgun from me, it was a life-or-death scenario.”

Ultimately, the three accused defendants were all pronounced guilty of the crime. Travis McMichael was charged and convicted on all nine charges. Gregory McMichael, his father, pled guilty to eight counts. William “Roddie” Bryan pled guilty to six counts.

In response to the ruling, President Joe Biden stated, “While the guilty verdicts reflect our justice system doing its job, that alone is not enough. Instead, we must recommit ourselves to building a future of unity and shared strength, where no one fears violence because of the color of their skin.”