Law & the Courts

Georgia Grand Jury Indicts Three Men on Murder Charges in Ahmaud Arbery Shooting

A cross stands stuck in the ground along Highway 17 at the entrance of the Saltillo Shores neighborhood where Ahmaud Arbery was shot, in Brunswick, Ga., May 8, 2020. (Dustin Chambers/Reuters)

A Georgia grand jury returned an indictment of nine charges against the three suspects in the murder of Ahmaud Arbery, Cobb County district attorney Joyette Holmes announced Wednesday.

Holmes said that 64-year-old Greg McMichael, 34-year-old Travis McMichael, and 50-year-old William “Roddie” Bryan face malice murder, four counts of felony murder, two counts of aggravated assault, false imprisonment, and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment.

“This is another positive step, another great step, for finding justice for Ahmaud, for finding justice for this family and for the community beyond,” she said.

Arbery, who is African American, was killed in February by the McMichaels. The McMichaels claimed that Arbery resembled a suspected burglar in their neighborhood, and drove to confront him. The shooting, captured on live video by Bryan, drew national outrage, and led to the arrests of the suspects in May.

Holmes was appointed to lead the prosecution in the case after the lawyers for Arbery’s family demanded that the former prosecutor, District Attorney Tom Durden, be replaced — saying on Twitter that he had “sat on the case” until video of the shooting was leaked. Two county commissioners have also claimed that Glynn County district attorney Jackie Johnson prevented police from initially investing the McMichaels. Greg McMichael is a retired investigator who worked in Johnson’s office.

During testimony earlier this month, Special Agent Richard Dial said that Bryan told him Travis McMichael allegedly called Arbery a “f***ing n*****” after shooting him in the chest. The autopsy report showed that Arbery was shot three times and did not have drugs or alcohol in his system.

The U.S. Justice Department is also considering federal hate-crime charges in the case.

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