A jury has found the three men involved in the alleged murder of Ahmaud Arbery guilty of nearly all charges, with prosecutors saying they made sufficient arguments to lead the jurors despite being nearly all White.
In a statement, Cobb County senior assistant district attorney Linda Dunikoski said that she was hopeful that the jury would see their evidence as sufficient to bring justice to the Arbery family. She said that upon seeing the jury, she knew that they were smart individuals who were also seeking the truth of the case.
Ahmaud Arbery Murder Suspects Found Guilty
Cobb County senior assistant district attorney Paul Camarillo said that one of his main goals as a prosecutor in the Arbery murder trial was to show the jury that the defendants' claims of self-defense were not a viable argument. In a statement, he said that self-defense did not apply in the encounter with Arbery.
A Cobb County assistant district attorney, Larissa Ollivierre, said she sympathized with the Arbery family after one defense attorney talked about the victim's toenails. She said that the comments were completely unnecessary and added nothing significant to the case, CNN reported.
During the Wednesday trial, Brunswick, Georgia jurors found the two main suspects, Travis McMichael and his father, Greg McMichael, guilty on nearly all counts in the Arbery case, including felony murder. They also found the two men's neighbor, William "Roddie" Bryan, guilty of felony murder.
Travis, who is 35 years old, was found guilty on all counts while his father Greg, who is 65 years old, was found guilty on eight. The two men are responsible for shooting and killing Arbery, who was 25 years old at the time of the incident. The Black man was unarmed and was jogging in a neighborhood outside of Brunswick before being approached by the two suspects.
The jurors, composed of 11 White individuals and one Black individual, capped off the 14-day trial with the guilty verdict. It was on Monday when the closing arguments from the prosecution and defense were made. On that same day, protesters, including Black armed militias, gathered outside the Glynn County courthouse, calling for justice for the victim, Fox News reported.
In a statement, an attorney for the Arbery family, civil rights lawyer Ben Crump, said that after nearly two years of suffering, the victim's family finally got justice. He argued that while the verdict will not bring the deceased back to life, it was a step to peace for the family who now knew that the men responsible for their loved one's death will be kept behind bars.
The lawyer said that the verdict marked significant progress for justice but noted that it was far from over. He called on the American public to continue fighting for justice and to stand for what is right.
The jury took more than 10 hours in their deliberations that lasted two days before deciding on the guilty verdict. Superior Court Judge Timothy Walmsley, who oversaw the Arbery trial, thanked the jurors for their service and said he would handle logistical matters with jurors at a later time, Yahoo News reported.