The trio charged with murder of 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery in February 2020 are set to be sentenced on Friday at the Superior Court of Glynn County, Georgia, after they were convicted of murder and several associated charges on November 24 last year.
Earlier this week, the Department of Justice had approached Arbery’s family to ask whether they would be willing to accept a plea deal that would see the trio serve 30 years in a federal prison, but Arbery’s family promptly rejected the offer.
Thus, as it stands, the three white men – Gregory McMichael, his son Travis, and their neighbour William ‘Roddie’ Bryan – face a sentence of life imprisonment with parole at best, and life imprisonment without the possibility of parole at worst.
Speaking ahead of the sentencing hearing, Ahmaud’s mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, told CNN, “I really don’t want to hear anything from Travis. I really don’t want to hear anything from either defendants. There’s nothing that they can tell me today that would make me feel better. I miss Ahmaud more and more each day.”
“Ahmaud didn’t get a chance to live. So with that being said, Travis should not get a chance to live as a free man. Travis should go to prison for life without parole and … he should remain in prison forever,” Cooper-Jones further said, adding that watching Travis testify during the trial was a traumatic experience for her.
S. Lee Merritt, the attorney for Cooper-Jones, echoed her sentiments, and told CNN, “…she rejected that [plea] offer because we believe that today the state will move forward with life sentences without the possibility of parole, and we think that’s the appropriate sentence.”
In addition to the sentence that awaits them at the Superior Court of Glynn County, the trio are also awaiting trial on separate federal hate crime charges after they were indicted by a federal grand jury in April 2021.