A lawyer for the men found guilty of murdering Ahmaud Arbery says no 'single case is a referendum on the justice system in America'
A jury found Travis and Gregory McMichael and William Bryan guilty of murder. Stephen B. Morton / AP
A Georgia jury found Travis and Gregory McMichael and William Bryan guilty of murder.
A McMichaels attorney said they "absolutely" plan to appeal the verdict.
Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old black man, was shot while jogging in February 2020.
Gregory and Travis McMichael's attorneys said they understand that their clients' convictions in the Ahmaud Arbery murder were a reason for the Arbery family's "celebration" but added that they intend to appeal the decision.
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Arbery, a 25-year-old black man, was shot and killed while jogging in the Georgia neighborhood of Satilla Shores near the city of Brunswick, Georgia, on February 23, 2020. His death became a protest rally during police reform and civil rights protests in 2020.
"We very much honor the greater entertainment that is taking place across the country," said defense attorney Jason Sheffield after the judgment in the courthouse. "The fact that this case was included in this conversation has indeed made it very difficult to go through a process in the normal sense that we normally experience."
Defense attorney Robert Rubin, who also defended the McMichaels, said they "absolutely" plan to appeal the verdict.
"I don't think a single case is a referendum on America's criminal justice system. This case was about these people at the time," said Rubin. "We had good prosecutors, good defense lawyers, and a good judge, all of whom worked hard to ensure that there was justice in this courtroom."
"And whether the verdict had been that way or vice versa - not guilty - justice would have happened in this courtroom and it doesn't talk about the bigger problems in America," added Rubin.
Travis and Gregory McMichael were found guilty of the murder of Ahmaud Arbery. Stephen B. Morton / AP
Travis McMichael, 35, fired the shot that killed Arbery. His father, Gregory McMichael, 65, a former police officer, was chasing Arbery with his son in a pickup truck. William Bryan, 52, took part in the chase and filmed the encounter. All three pleaded guilty to being charged with malicious murder, criminal murder, aggravated assault, and wrongful imprisonment months after Arbery's death.
Travis McMichael was the only defendant found guilty on all counts. Gregory McMichael was found guilty on eight of the nine charges and Bryan was found guilty on six of the nine charges.
"This is a very difficult day for Travis McMichael and Greg McMichael. These are two men who honestly believed that what they did was right," said Sheffield. "But we also know that this is a day of celebration for the Arbery family. We cannot take our eyes off their feelings and we understand that they feel they have received justice today."
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