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The family said the guilty verdicts in Ahmaud Arbery’s murder trial were an answer to prayers. Here’s what happens next


When the first sentence was read, Marcus Arbery Sr., Arbery’s father, “jumped and cheered,” according to a pool reporter in the room.

“I never saw this day in 2020, I never thought this day would come,” said Ahmaud Arbery’s mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, as she stood just outside the courthouse door after the verdicts.

She thanked God and all those who marched and prayed for her family.

“Quez, you know he’s Ahmaud, I know he’s Quez. He will rest in peace now,” his mother told the gathered crowd, who celebrated when they heard the news.

“Today’s verdict is a fact-based, evidence-based verdict and that’s our goal, to get that out before the jury so they can do the right thing,” prosecutor Linda said. Dunikoski added, “the jury system. works in this country.”

Now, questions about the sentencing process, appeal, and additional federal charges against Travis McMichael, Gregory McMichael and William “Roddie” Bryan Jr. must be answered.

The trio face the possibility of living in prison

Judge Timothy Walmsley has yet to set sentencing dates for the three convicted men.

Here are the key factors in Ahmaud Arbery's death trial
Jury on Wednesday found Travis McMichael guilty of malicious homicide, four counts of murder, two counts of aggravated assault, one count of false imprisonment and one count of willful felony in the death of Arbery on February 23, 2020, just outside Brunswick , Georgia.

His father, Gregory McMichael, was only acquitted of malicious murder and found guilty on other charges he and his son faced.

Bryan was found guilty of three counts of murder, one count of aggravated assault, one count of false imprisonment and one count of attempted felony. He was acquitted of malicious murder, one count of felony murder and one count of aggravated assault.

The men now face up to life in prison without the possibility of parole for each murder count, 20 years for each aggravated assault count, 10 years for false imprisonment and 5 years for each count. years for attempted felony. Walmsley will decide whether the sentences will be served consecutively or concurrently.

Prosecutors have said they will seek a life sentence in prison without the possibility of parole.

Defense attorney intends to appeal

Jason Sheffield and Bob Rubin, attorneys for Travis McMichael, said they intend to appeal conviction.

Asked about the venue of the trial, Sheffield said he was sure their decision not to apply for a change of venue would be discussed “ad nauseam” and could become part of an appeal in the future. but said they didn’t have any second thoughts on the decision.

Sheffield said: “I can honestly tell you that these men are sorry for what happened to Ahmaud Arbery. “They’re sorry he’s dead, they’re sorry for the tragedy that happened because of the choices they’ve made to go out there and try to stop him.”

Kevin Gough, Bryan’s attorney, said he planned to appeal the decision regarding his client, noting, “We believe the appellate courts will overturn this conviction.”

During testing, Gough comment considered by many to be insensitive, begged the courts to prevent prominent Black pastors from sitting in public galleries. And a prosecutor told CNN on Wednesday that the decision to raise the matter may have been intentional to help appeal.

Gough said on November 11 he had “nothing personal against” Father Al Sharpton, who was attending with Arbery’s family, adding, “We don’t want any black pastors come here or another Jesse Jackson, whoever was here earlier this week, sitting with the victim’s family trying to influence the jury in this case.”

Prosecutors in Ahmaud Arbery's killers trial explain why they trust the jury despite its racial structure
Walmsley has ruled that as long as court proceedings are not disrupted, there will be no sweeping ban. Gough sorry for his statements tomorrow.
Bishop Jesse Jackson was not present at the time of comment, but later sitting in the gallery with Arbery’s parents.

Prosecutor Dunikoski told CNN’s Jim Acosta after the ruling that Gough’s comments about Black pastors – although made without a jury – were strategic.

“Mr Gough is a very, very good lawyer, and he was purposeful, purposeful and strategic, I believe, he did what he did in an attempt to try to insert some error. potential into the case in case he lost the case and it went up on appeal,” she said.

Federal charges await

All three were prosecuted in April separately federal hate crime charges, including interference with rights and attempted kidnapping, according to the US Department of Justice. Travis and Gregory McMichael were also charged with using, carrying, swinging and discharging firearms during and in connection with a violent crime.

Federal prosecutors said all three men “used force and the threat of force to intimidate and obstruct Arbery’s right to use public streets because of his race.”

McMichaels and Bryan pleaded not guilty to the federal charges.

Biden says guilty verdicts in Arbery murder & # 39;  reflect our justice system doing its job & # 39;

Sheffield and Rubin, on behalf of Travis McMichael, said after the federal indictment, “We are deeply disappointed that the Department of Justice bought out the untrue narrative that the media and state prosecutors received from the media and state prosecutors.” Issued.”

Arbery Sr.’s attorney, Ben Crump, said at the time, “This is an important milestone in America’s arduous march to racial justice, and we applaud the Justice Department’s handling of the case. this heinous act – an absolutely evil act, motivated by a racial hatred of criminals.”

The federal trial will take place in February. Since they are being held on state charges, there is no federal bond hearing yet.

If found guilty under federal charges, they could face additional penalties of up to life in prison.

CNN’s Chris Boyette, Amir Vera, Angela Barajas and Madeline Holcombe contributed to this report.

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