A jury found the three White men who killed Ahmaud Arbery guilty on all counts in the federal hate crimes trial this morning.
After the verdict was read, there was no discernible reaction from the three defendants, Travis McMichael, Gregory McMichael and William "Roddie" Bryan.
Judge Lisa Godbey Wood addressed each of the defendants and their attorneys to inform them they have 14 days to file any post-trial motions and that the US probation office would conduct a pre-sentencing interview before the sentencing hearing is scheduled. When defendants went before judge all three responded by either saying, “yes” or “yes ma’am.” When Gregory McMichael returned to his seat, he let out an audible sigh.
The jury foreperson — one of the three Black jurors — was emotional during the court’s reading the verdict and while the jury was being polled, wiping away tears.
According to the pool, Wanda Cooper-Jones, the mother of Arbery, remained attentive during the reading of the verdict, looking ahead. Marcus Arbery Sr., Arbery’s father nodded his head, swayed back and forth, and at times, clasped his hands together as the clerk went through each of the counts.
Leigh McMichael, mother of Travis McMichael and wife of Gregory McMichael, remained stoic. After the verdict came down, the only person that remained sitting was Leigh McMichael. The Arbery family, supporters and the prosecuting attorneys were on their feet, embracing and congratulating each other.
Judge Wood thanked the jury and acknowledged the attorneys in the case telling prosecutors that they had a “difficult task” due to the nature of the charges. She also told defense counsel that although they were appointed by the court, they represented their clients “zealously”. She adjourned saying no one need wonder whether they got a fair trial or whether the attorneys were skillful — they did and they were.
Court adjourned at 10:55 a.m. ET. Jurors deliberated for about 3 hours and 40 mins, according to the pool.