A grand jury has indicted all three suspects in the death of Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old Black man who was fatally shot back in February as he jogged through a Georgia neighborhood.
According to The Atlanta-Journal Constitution, the charges were formally brought against the three suspects — Gregory McMichael, his son Travis McMichael and William Bryan — on Wednesday (June 24). Each of the men were charged with nine counts: four counts of felony murder, false imprisonment, malice murder, two counts of aggravated assault and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment.
The indictments come just a day after Georgia approved its hate crime bill, which would permit intensified criminal penalties for those who target others because of their gender, race, sexual orientation or other reasons.
Earlier this month, Abery’s mother Wanda Cooper-Jones made a powerful plea to lawmakers to make hate crimes illegal in the state, following her sons death. A preliminary hearing for Arbery’s case revealed that Travis, who followed Arbery with his father Gregory and William, called Arbery a “fucking nigger” after fatally shooting him. Georgia is one of four states that doesn’t have a hate crime law already in place.
Arbery was fatally shot while jogging through a neighborhood near his home in Brunswick, Georgia. He jogged past Gregory, who then told his son Travis to get their guns. The father and son took their weapons and jumped into their truck to follow Arbery. Soon after, there was a struggle over the firearm and Arbery was shot and killed.
The two men weren’t arrested for his murder until May, after Bryan’s video footage surfaced. Eventually, Bryan was arrested for his involvement in the murder as well. The defendants are currently in a Glynn County jail. Last month, Glynn County Magistrate Court judge denied the bonds for the McMichaels. A bond hearing for Bryan has been delayed.