Three Men Sentenced to Life in Prison in Ahmaud Arbery Killing

The chase ended when Mr. Arbery, blocked in by the trucks, clashed physically with Travis McMichael, who shot Mr. Arbery three times at close range with a shotgun. Mr. Bryan captured the slaying on his cellphone camera, and when the footage was widely distributed online, it stirred national outrage.

On Friday, Mr. Arbery’s family members gave a series of wrenching statements to the judge, arguing that the men should receive the maximum possible sentences. His sister, Jasmine Arbery, said the men mistakenly deemed Mr. Arbery to be a “dangerous criminal” because of his dark skin and curly hair.

Mr. Arbery was a jogging enthusiast, and his family has said that he had jogged into the neighborhood on the day of his death. Marcus Arbery Sr., his father, told the court, “Not only did they lynch my son in broad daylight, but they killed him while he was doing what he loved” more than anything: “running.”

Wanda Cooper-Jones, Ahmaud Arbery’s mother, noted that her son never spoke to his pursuers during the chase. “He never said a word to them, he never threatened them — he just wanted to be left alone,” she said. “They were fully committed to their crimes. Let them be fully committed for their consequences.”

The case is likely to be appealed to the Georgia Supreme Court. But in an interview this week, Ms. Cooper-Jones said she was bracing herself for the next trial, in federal court, where the three men are charged with hate crimes and attempted kidnapping, and also face potential life sentences. Jury selection in that case is scheduled to begin on Feb. 7.

“I’ll be there every day,” she said. “They need to answer to those charges as well.”

Ms. Cooper-Jones said federal prosecutors had contacted her recently and asked if she would be comfortable with a plea deal. She said she told them that she preferred to see the federal case go to trial.

The Tycoon Herald