Travis McMichael, along with his father Gregory were sentenced to life in prison for a second time after being charged with a federal hate crime along with attempted kidnapping and an additional weapons charge.
Travis McMichael received an additional 10 years on top of his life sentence for the weapons charge, while his father Gregory received an extra 7 years for the same charge. The judge determined that neither of the McMichaels would be able to pay any fine.
The other man involved, William “Roddie” Bryan Jr., who was their neighbor, was sentenced to 35 years in prison, this sentence will be served at the same time as his state sentence.
All three men were convicted of Arbery’s murder in January, and all were sentenced to life in prison. The McMichaels were given life without the possibility of parole, whereas Bryan Jr. was given life with the possibility of parole.
The judge requested that all three men be remanded in state custody to start their sentences. Their lawyers have argued that they should be sent to federal prison.
Arbery’s mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones asked before sentencing that the Judge hand down the maximum sentence. “Your honor, I feel every shot that was fired every day,” Cooper-Jones said during a victim impact statement.
Cooper-Jones went onto express her gratitude after sentencing was completed: “I’m very relived, I’m glad, I’m thankful. I want to say thank you to each and every one of you who stood with us through this long process.”
Travis McMichael, Gregory McMichael and William “Roddie” Bryan Jr. were all found guilty of a federal hate crime in February after prosecutors were able to convince the judge that the crimes were racially motivated.
“The Justice Department’s prosecution of this case and the court’s sentences today make clear that hate crimes have no place in our country, and that the Department will be unrelenting in our efforts to hold accountable those who perpetrate them,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said. “Protecting civil rights and combating white supremacist violence was a founding purpose of the Justice Department, and one that we will continue to pursue with the urgency it demands.”
Gregory McMichael did offer an apology, which Arbery’s mother did accept. Gregory said the “loss that you’ve endured is beyond description. There’s no words for it.”
“I’m sure that my words mean little to you, but I wanted to assure you I never wanted any of this to happen. There was no malice in my heart or my son’s heart that day,” he said. “Finally, I pray that God’s peace will come to the Arbery family and this community.” He also apologized to both his wife and son.
Cooper-Jones responded to his words, “Being the person that I am, I think now he realizes he made some horrible decisions back in February. Unfortunately, his apology doesn’t bring back my son, but I do accept the apology.”
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: NEW YORK TIMES
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