Three men who were convicted for the murder of 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery have also been convicted on hate crimes and several other lesser charges Tuesday.
A jury found father and son Greg and Travis McMichael, and their neighbor William “Roddie” Bryan guilty of federal hate crimes after allegedly targeting Arbery because he was black.
Arbery was pursued and gunned down by the trio while he jogged through a neighborhood in on Feb. 23, 2020.
According to the report, the McMichael’s spotted Arbery jogging in their neighborhood and decided to arm themselves before getting into their truck to chase him down. Their neighbor Bryan, got into his own truck and followed the men to film the altercation. After cornering Arbery and threatening him, an altercation began and that’s when Travis McMichael fired at point-blank range.
The men told police that they believed Arbery was a danger to the neighborhood and was attempting to rob homes in the area. Authorities reported, however, that they did not find any weapons or stolen goods on Arbery’s body.
Prosecutors told the jury that the men were known to be racist against black people and presented them them with dozens of text messages and social media posts in which Travis McMichael and Bryan both used racist slurs and made derogatory comments about Black people.
One of the statements presented to the jury was a Facebook comment Travis McMichael made in 2018 on a video of a black man playing a prank on a white person. McMichael posted “I’d kill that f—-ing n—-r.”
Prosecutors also brought forward several witnesses who testified they heard the McMichael’s use racial slurs about black people.
While prosecutors were able to present text message evidence for the McMichael’s, the FBI wasn’t able to access Greg McMichael’s phone because it was encrypted.
The jury found the three men guilty of violating Arbery’s civil rights in addition to attempted kidnapping and use of a firearm in the commission of a violent crime.
They are already serving life sentences after being convicted of murder.