Travis McMichael withdrew his guilty plea on Friday (Feb. 4) in his federal hate crimes case.
According to ABC News, Travis’ father Gregory McMichael informed a federal court on Thursday night (Feb. 3) that he also plans to withdraw his guilty plea.
The father and son, who were previously convicted of murdering Ahmaud Arbery, will soon stand trial for the charges, along with their co-defendant and neighbor William “Roddie” Bryan Jr. Jury selection for the three men’s federal trial is set to begin on Monday (Feb. 7).
The news arrives after a judge rejected the terms of a plea agreement that Travis reached with the Justice Department. As reported by REVOLT, federal prosecutors agreed to allow both Travis and Gregory to serve the first 30 years of their life prison sentences in a federal prison, rather than in a harsher state prison.
The deal would have also helped the two men avoid their upcoming federal trial and asked that the U.S. District Court “dispose” of their hate crime charges. In return, Travis and Gregory would have been required to admit that they were motivated by hate when they chased down and murdered 25-year-old Arbery in February of 2020.
However, U.S. District Court Judge Lisa Wood rejected the deal after hearing from Arbery’s parents, Wanda Cooper-Jones and Marcus Arbery, who denounced the agreement as a “back-room deal.”
“Granting these men their preferred conditions of confinement would defeat me,” Cooper-Jones told the judge earlier this week. “It gives them one last chance to spit in my face after murdering my son.”
On Twitter, her lawyer added, “Wanda Cooper-Jones kept her promise to Ahmaud Arbery to get her son justice. Today the DOJ is attempting to ‘snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.’ We will not allow it.”
Bryan was not included in the proposed agreement.