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All 3 men guilty of murder in the killing of Ahmaud Arbery

Watch moment men found guilty of killing Ahmaud Arbery
05:26

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Arbery's aunt supports life without parole for all 3 men convicted of murdering her nephew

Theawanza Brooks, Ahmaud Arbery’s aunt, said Wednesday that she was pleased that the three men convicted of murdering her nephew may serve “life-without-parole.”

“They’ll get the same treatment that we have, knowing that Ahmaud will never come home again, so they shouldn’t be able to go home either,” she said.

Travis McMichael, who shot and killed Arbery, his father, Gregory McMichael and William “Roddie” Bryan Jr. were found guilty Wednesday.

Judge Timothy Walmsley did not schedule sentencing today but said he plans to set a date in the coming weeks.

Despite nearly all-White jury, prosecutors in murder trial felt jury would make the right decision

Paul Camarillo, Linda Dunikoski and Larissa Ollivierre

The jury in the trial of three men for the death of Ahmed Arbery was made up of 11 White people and one Black person, but prosecutors told CNN that they felt that when the jury heard their arguments, they would make the decision to find all three guilty, which they did.

“I was hopeful based on the evidence that we presented in the case that we put forth that the jury would see the truth of what actually took place and bring justice for the Arbery family,” Cobb County senior assistant district attorney Linda Dunikoski said. “After we picked the jury, we looked at them and realized that we had very, very smart, very intelligent, honest jurors who were going to do their job which is to seek the truth. And so, we felt that putting up our case, it doesn’t matter whether they were black or white, that putting up our case that this jury would hear the truth, they would see the evidence and that they would do the right thing and come back with the correct verdict which we felt they did today.”

One main goal for prosecutors Paul Camarillo, Cobb County senior assistant district attorney, said was to simply show that the defendant’s claim of self-defense, simply wasn’t a viable argument.

“We had to show that it did not apply in this case and if they could not get past that hurdle, they never could get to self-defense,” Camarillo said.

Larissa Ollivierre, Cobb County assistant district attorney, said she felt bad for Arbery’s parents when one defense attorney began talking about Arbery’s toenails.

“I think the comments were unnecessary and they were low. and I just feel bad that Ahmad’s mom dad and had to sit there and listen to all of those things,” Ollivierre said.

Dunikoski said defense attorney Kevin Gough’s comments about Black pastors– though made without the jury present — was strategic.

“Mr. Gough is a very, very good attorney, and he purposefully and intentionally and strategically, I believe, did what did he in an effort to attempt to insert potentially some error into the case in case he lost the case and it went up on appeal,” she said

Attorney for William "Roddie" Bryan Jr. says he plans to appeal

The attorney for William “Roddie” Bryan Jr. said he plans to appeal after his client was convicted in the murder of Ahmaud Arbery.

“Anybody in that position would be disappointed, would be hurt, would be shocked,” said Kevin Gough, Bryan’s defense attorney, after he was convicted of murder and other charges in the death of Arbery. 

“Here he is, he does everything he’s supposed to do, he’s fully cooperating, he’s done everything that he can and now he’s looking at spending the rest of his life in prison,” the attorney continued as he spoke to members of the media Wednesday afternoon. 

Travis McMichael, who shot Arbery, and his father, Gregory McMichael, were also found guilty of murder and other charges. The three defendants are White, Arbery was Black.

Gough said he planned to appeal the decision regarding his client, noting, “We believe the appellate courts will reverse this conviction.”

Gough was doubtful about the possibility of parole for Bryan. 

“At his age, 25 years before parole eligibility? I don’t think parole is even something he’s going to be worrying about right now,” Gough said.

CNN’s Christina Maxouris contributed to this report.

Ahmaud Arbery’s mother: "Today was a very good day"

Wanda Cooper-Jones, the mother of Ahmaud Arbery, told CNN that her prayers had been answered and that “today was a very good day,” after three men were found guilty in her son’s killing.

“To hear that the accused murderers were actually found guilty, I mean, that was huge. We finally got the justice for Ahmaud that he deserved back in 2020,” she said.

Cooper-Jones also discussed thoughts she had about other mothers who were in her circumstance seeking justice for their children.

“My message to these families is don’t give up, keep pushing, keep fighting,” Cooper-Jones said.

Lee Merritt, an attorney for Cooper-Jones, said they are looking forward to the federal prosecution of the men found guilty Wednesday in Georgia.

Merritt said he agreed with Martin Luther King Jr.’s sentiment that the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice, but not on its own.

“The moral arc is long and I agree that it does bend toward justice but it doesn’t bend on its own,” Merritt said. “It takes fight being mothers like the one I’m sitting next to that I have the real honor and privilege to represent.”

Murder trial verdict was based on facts and evidence, lead prosecutor says

Lead prosecutor Linda Dunikoski is applauded while speaking outside the Glynn County Courthouse on Wednesday.

Lead prosecutor Linda Dunikoski said spoke about the verdict today, saying “When you present the truth to people and they can see it, they will do the right thing and that’s what this jury did today in getting justice for Ahmaud Arbery,”  

Dunikoski, who is a Cobb County senior assistant district attorney, successfully prosecuted the cases of Travis McMichael, his father Gregory McMichael and their neighbor William R. Bryan.

All three men were convicted Wednesday of chasing and murdering Arbery, a 25-year-old Black jogger who was running in their neighborhood.

“The verdict today was a verdict based on the facts, based on the evidence and that was our goal, was to bring that to that jury so that they could do the right thing,” said Dunikoski, adding, “the jury system works in this country.”

She also thanked her trial partners, calling it “a gigantic team effort.” 

Georgia senator says a "historic civil rights mobilization" was needed for the killers to face prosecution

Sen. Jon Ossoff speaks in September.

Sen. Jon Ossoff, of Georgia, extended his condolences to the Arbery family and insisted that “further investigation is necessary to determine how and why officials initially refused to pursue the case” into the three men found guilty Wednesday.

“I extend again my deepest and most heartfelt condolences to the Arbery family and my gratitude to the jury and court for their service,” Ossoff said in a statement. “Ahmaud Arbery was a young man whose life was stolen from him, from his family, from the many who knew and loved him, and from the countless lives he would have touched in decades to come.”

Ossoff added: “Ahmaud Arbery’s murderers will be held accountable, but a historic civil rights mobilization was necessary for the killers to face prosecution at all. There was nearly impunity for this murder, and further investigation is necessary to determine how and why officials initially refused to pursue the case. The circumstances of Ahmaud Arbery’s murder and the struggle required to secure a prosecution demonstrate profoundly the urgency of reforms to make equal justice real in America.”

Earlier today: In the same vein, Rev. Al Sharpton praised “White and Black activists” alike for their support during the trial and helping to raise awareness.

“All of us, this is a day White and Black activists showed we could unite and beat the lynch mob that killed Ahmaud,” Sharpton said in front of the courthouse Wednesday afternoon. “And though I never say this often, I must say, we want to thank the prosecutors. They stood and fought for this family.”

The jury found that Travis McMichael intended to kill Ahmaud Arbery, legal expert says

Travis McMichael looks back at his mother and sister in the courtroom after the jury convicted him for the murder of Ahmaud Arbery on Wednesday.

All three defendants were convicted of felony murder, but only Travis McMichael, the man who shot and killed Ahmaud Arbery, was convicted of the top charge, malice murder.

Georgia criminal defense attorney Page Pate told CNN this decision by the jury made sense to him.

“In Georgia, malice murder, you have an intent to kill someone. Felony murder is you don’t necessarily want to kill someone but you’re committing a felony offense and someone dies as a result of it,” Pate said.

He said the verdict shows “it was careful deliberation” by the jury in the case. 

“Let’s put the facts together with the law and come up with what we feel is the right verdict, and I think it was the right verdict for this case,” Pate said.

Vice President Harris says Ahmaud Arbery's "life had meaning"

The guilty verdicts for all three men charged in killing Ahmaud Arbery last year send “an important message,” Vice President Kamala Harris said in a statement this afternoon.

“Today, the jury rendered its verdicts and the three defendants were found guilty of murdering Ahmaud Arbery,” the statement said. “Still, we feel the weight of grief. Ahmaud Arbery should be alive, and nothing can take away the pain that his mother Wanda Cooper-Jones, his father Marcus Arbery, and the entire Arbery family and community feel today. I share in that pain.”

Harris added: “These verdicts send an important message, but the fact remains that we still have work to do. The defense counsel chose to set a tone that cast the attendance of ministers at the trial as intimidation and dehumanized a young Black man with racist tropes. The jury arrived at its verdicts despite these tactics. Ahmaud Arbery was a son. He was a brother. He was a friend. His life had meaning. We will not forget him. We honor him best by continuing the fight for justice.”

Earlier today: Travis McMichael, who shot and killed Arbery, was convicted on all nine counts against him. Five of the counts — malice murder and four counts of felony murder — carry a possible life sentence.

His father, Gregory McMichael, was found guilty of all but the first count — malice murder. He faces possible life in prison for the four counts of felony murder that he was convicted of.

The third defendant, William “Roddie” Bryan Jr., was convicted on six of the nine charges. He was found not guilty of malice murder, not guilty on one of the felony murder counts and not guilty of aggravated assault with a firearm. But Bryan could still be sentenced to life in prison since he was convicted on three of the felony murders counts.

Defense attorney for man convicted of murder in Ahmaud Arbery's death plans to appeal guilty verdict

Jason Sheffield — an attorney for Travis McMichael, one of three convicted of murder in the death of Ahmaud Arbery — said he is planning to appeal the jury’s guilty verdict.

“This is a very difficult day for Travis McMichael and Greg McMichael,” Sheffield said outside the Brunswick, Georgia, courthouse. “These are two men who honestly believed that what they were doing was the right thing to do. However, a Glynn County jury has spoken. They have found them guilty. They will be sentenced.”

Travis McMichael, his father Gregory McMichael and William “Roddie” Bryan Jr. were found guilty of murder in Arbery’s death. Each faces the possibility of life in prison.

“That is a very disappointing and sad verdict for myself and for Bob and for our team, but we also recognize that this is a day of celebration for the Arbery family,” Sheffield added. “We cannot tear our eyes away from the way they feel about this. They feel they have gotten justice today. We respect that. We honor that. Because we honor this jury trial system.”

Defense attorneys speak outside the courthouse:

01:56

All 3 men found guilty of murdering Ahmaud Arbery face a possible life sentence

Left to right: Travis McMichael, Gregory McMichael and William "Roddie" Bryan

All three men who were found guilty in the killing of Ahmaud Arbery face the possibility of life in prison when they are sentenced.

Travis McMichael, who shot and killed Arbery, was convicted on all nine counts. Five of the counts — malice murder and four counts of felony murder — carry a possible life sentence.

His father, Gregory McMichael, was found guilty of all but the first count — malice murder. He faces possible life in prison for the four counts of felony murder that he was convicted on.

The third defendant, William “Roddie” Bryan Jr., was convicted on six of the nine charges. He was found not guilty of malice murder, not guilty on one of the felony murder counts and not guilty of aggravated assault with a firearm. But Bryan could still get sentenced to life in prison since he was convicted on three of the felony murders counts.

The judge did not schedule sentencing today but he said he plans to set a date in the coming weeks.

Here’s a breakdown of each of the counts that defendants were charged with in the case, along with the maximum penalties:

Count 1: Malice murder

  • Maximum penalty: Life without the possibility of parole

Count 2: Felony murder (Felony offense: Aggravated assault with a firearm)

Count 3: Felony murder (Felony offense: Aggravated assault with pickup trucks)

Count 4: Felony murder (Felony offense: False imprisonment)

Count 5: Felony Murder (Felony offense: Criminal attempt to commit a felony)

  • Maximum penalty for any of the four charges: Life without the possibility of parole

Count 6: Aggravated assault (with firearms)

Count 7: Aggravated assault (with pickup trucks)

  • Maximum penalty: 20 years

Count 8: False imprisonment

  • Maximum penalty: 10 years

Count 9: Criminal attempt to commit a felony

  • Maximum penalty: Five years
05:26

Biden: Guilty verdicts in Arbery's killing show justice system is working, but "that alone is not enough"

President Biden reacted to the guilty verdicts in the trial of three men convicted of killing Ahmaud Arbery, saying that it “ensures that those who committed this horrible crime will be punished.”

“Instead, we must recommit ourselves to building a future of unity and shared strength, where no one fears violence because of the color of their skin,” the President said.

Biden said Arbery “should be here today” celebrating the holidays with his family, pledging that his administration will continue to work for equal justice.

"I'm floored," says defense attorney following murder verdict, according to pool reporter

Defense attorney Laura Hogue looks on as the prosecutors make their final rebuttal on Tuesday.

After all three men on trial in the death of Ahmaud Arbery were convicted of murder, defense attorney Laura Hogue said, “I’m floored, floored with a capital ‘F,’” as she spoke to her client Gregory McMicheal’s wife, Leigh, according to a pool reporter who was in the room. 

The comments were made as the courtroom was emptying following the reading of the verdict.

Leigh McMichael’s “face was red with tears,” the pool reporter observed, as she spoke to her husband’s attorney.

Hogue said she was “very disappointed.” 

Hogue’s co-counsel, Frank Hogue, said they planned to appeal the conviction, the pool reporter said. 

Attorneys for Travis McMichael, Leigh’s son, declined to comment. 

How Ahmaud Arbery's father reacted to news of the guilty verdict: "Today is a good day"

Marcus Arbery Sr., the father of Ahmaud Arbery, celebrated the guilty verdicts outside the courthouse, saying “we conquered that lynch mob.”

Arbery said he saw the guilty verdicts as a victory for his son — and also for justice everywhere.

“For real, all lives matter,” he said. “Not just Black children. We don’t want to see nobody go through this. I wouldn’t want to see no daddy watch their kid get lynched and shot down like that.”

“It’s all our problem,” he continued. “So hey, let’s keep fighting. Let’s keep doing and making this a better place for all human beings.”

Earlier in the day Judge Timothy Walmsley asked Arbery to leave the courtroom after he reacted to the guilty verdict of Travis McMichael – the man who shot his son.

Arbery exclaimed, “Woohoo!” after the first guilty verdict was read.

“I ask that whoever just made an outburst be removed from the court, please,” said Walmsley.

Concluding his remarks outside the courthouse today, Arbery appealed to love, saying all humans should be treated the same.

“Love everybody,” he concluded. “All human beings need to be  treated equally. We’re going to conquer this lynching. Today is a good day.”

Watch more:

01:43

District attorney's office praises "courage" of the jury

Latonia Hines, the executive assistant district attorney in Cobb County, said Ahmaud Arbery’s killing signaled a change in the community, Georgia and the nation as a whole.

Speaking for the district attorney, who had to leave due to a family emergency, Hines pointed to changes that have happened since the start of this case, including changes to Georgia’s citizen arrest law.

“We want you to know that from the moment this case came to our office, it was our foremost goal to ensure that we got justice for Ahmaud Arbery’s family, and in particular, we are so very proud and thankful for the confidence that the family has given to us,” she said at a news conference on the courthouse steps.

Hines also said she admired the “steadfastness and the strength” of Arbery’s parents throughout the trial and the “courage” of the jury to convict all three men charged in his killing.

Adding, “We want to thank this community for the support that it has given, to the family and to us and the community at large.”

Lead prosecutor: "The verdict today was based on the facts"

Linda Dunikoski, the lead prosecutor in the Ahmaud Arbery murder trial, said that the prosecution’s argument was a “team effort.”

“We had so many people on the team that helped bring justice for Ahmaud and his family, and we really, really appreciate the support that we had and the faith from Mr. Arbery [Ahmaud Arbery’s father] and from Ms. Wanda Cooper-Jones [Arbery’s mother] who have been with us, and put their faith in us and trusted us,” she said outside the Glynn County, Georgia, courthouse.

“The verdict today was based on the facts, based on the evidence, and that was our goal — was to bring that to that jury so they could do the right thing. Because the jury system works in this country. And when you present the truth to people and they can see it, they will do the right thing. And that’s what this jury did today, in getting justice for Ahmaud Arbery,” she said.

Rev. Al Sharpton praises "White and Black activists" for their support during the trial

Rev. Al Sharpton praised “White and Black activists” alike for their support during the trial of three men found guilty of murdering Ahmaud Arbery last year.

“All of us, this is a day White and Black activists showed we could unite and beat the lynch mob that killed Ahmaud,” Sharpton said in front of the courthouse Wednesday afternoon. “And though I never say this often, I must say, we want to thank the prosecutors. They stood and fought for this family.”

Sharpton added: “Tomorrow, in all our joy today, there will be an empty chair at Wanda’s table. Ahmaud will not be at Thanksgiving tomorrow. But she can look at that chair and say to Ahmaud, ‘I fought a good fight and I got you some justice.’ We can’t fill that chair for you, Wanda, but we can say that you are a mother above all mothers. You fought for your son.”

Religious leaders during the trial: Defense attorney Kevin Gough attempted to have Rev. Jesse Jackson removed from the court on Nov. 15 as the civil rights leader sat with Arbery’s family.

Gough insisted that prominent Black pastors such as Jackson and Sharpton, who was also at the trial, could influence the jury. The week before, Gough asked the judge to ban Black pastors from court and later apologized for it.

Gough objected to Jackson’s presence in the public gallery on Nov. 15 inside the courtroom.

“How many pastors does that Arbery family have? We had the Rev. Al Sharpton here earlier last week… I don’t know who Mr. Jackson, Rev. Jackson is pastoring here,” Gough said.

Attorney Ben Crump praises Arbery's parents for enduring the trial: "We should applaud them"

Civil rights attorney Ben Crump said the guilty verdict of all three defendants in the death of Arbery is “not a celebration, it is a reflection to acknowledge that the spirit of Ahmaud defeated the lynch mob.”

“We did this together. We said ‘America, we will make us better than what we saw on that video,’” he said.

Crump, who represents Marcus Arbery Sr., praised both Arbery’s father and mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones for enduring the trial. He said they are “still devastated because they’re missing Ahmaud.”

“You can’t experience the pain of a mother and a father who witnessed what they witnessed not being there to protect their child,” Crump said.

“Every parent in America can take solace in knowing that we have an example of how to deal with tragedy and grief when they look at the example of Marcus Arbery and Wanda Cooper. And we should applaud them.”

02:48

The jury weighed both charges of malice murder and felony murder. Here is how they are different.

When deciding their verdict, the jurors in the trial in the killing of Ahmaud Arbery had to weigh two different types of murder charges – malice murder and felony murder.

Travis McMichael was found guilty of malice murder while the other defendants, Gregory McMichael and William “Roddie” Bryan Jr., were convicted on four and three of the counts of felony murder, respectively.

The difference between the charges has to do with intent, Elie Honig, CNN senior legal analyst, said.

Malice murder means that the jury determined that Travis McMichael intended to kill Ahmaud Arbery, and he did, Honig said. Travis McMichael was the person who shot Arbery. Gregory McMichael and William “Roddie” Bryan Jr.’s felony murder convictions means that they intentionally committed the felony.

“The chasing him with the truck, false imprisonment – and as a result of that, whether they intended it or not, Ahmaud Arbery was killed and that makes the father and Roddie Bryan guilty of murder as well,” Hoing explained.

For context: Despite the different murder convictions, all three of the men could face possible life sentences.

Ahmaud Arbery's mother says her son can now "rest in peace"

Wanda Cooper-Jones, mother of Ahmaud Arbery, spoke outside the courthouse after the verdicts were read. She told the crowd that was gathered that she wanted to say “Thank you.”

“I just want to say thank you, guys. Thank you. Thank each and every one of you who fought this fight with us. It’s been a long fight. It’s been a hard fight. But God is good,” she said.

Cooper-Jones said, “to tell you the truth, I never thought this day back in 2020.” 

“I never thought this day would come. But God is good,” she added.

She concluded by saying that her son can now “rest is peace.”

“You know him as Ahmaud, I know him as ‘Quez,’ he will now rest in peace,” she said

00:50

Observers raise fists as Arbery family and lawyers walk out of courthouse holding hands

The family of Ahmaud Arbery and civil rights attorneys emerged from the courthouse in Glynn County, Georgia, with their arms raised and interlocked after three men were found guilty in his killing.

Observers raised their fists in solidarity.

Judge asks Ahmaud Arbery's father to leave the courtroom after he cheers "guilty" verdict

Ahmaud Arbery's father Marcus Arbery, center, listens to closing statements on Monday, November 22, in Brunswick, Georgia.

Judge Timothy Walmsley asked Marcus Arbery Sr., the father of Ahmaud Arbery, to leave the courtroom after he reacted to the guilty verdict of Travis McMichael – the man who shot his son.

Arbery exclaimed “Woohoo!” after the first guilty verdict was read.

“I ask that whoever just made an outburst be removed from the court, please,” Walmsley said.

“If you feel like you need to make a comment regarding the verdict, I ask that you step outside the courtroom now,” he added.

Outside of the courtroom there were chants of “We got justice,” CNN’s Sara Sidner said, adding, “That is the sentiment of the crowd outside.”

Sentencing date for 3 men convicted of murder in Ahmaud Arbery's death has not been set 

Judge Timothy Walmsley has not set a sentencing date for the three men convicted of murder in the killing of 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery.

Earlier this afternoon, a jury found Travis McMichael, his father Gregory McMichael and their co-defendant William “Roddie” Bryan Jr. guilty of murder in the death of Arbery last year.

Here's what it is like outside the courthouse

People outside the Glynn County Courthouse react after the jury reached guilty verdicts on Wednesday in the trial of Travis McMichael, Gregory McMichael and William "Roddie" Bryan in Brunswick, Georgia.

People have gathered outside the courthouse after a jury found all three men charged in the killing of Ahmaud Arbery guilty of murder.

The jury deliberated for more than 11 hours.

CNN’s Sara Sidner said most of the people have been waiting outside the whole time the jury was deliberating, some have even been outside the courthouse for the entire two weeks the trial was going on.

They have been chanting Arbery’s name, saying, “We’ve got justice.” Some people are waving flags. There were screams of relief and yelling when the first verdict was read, Sidner reported.

All 3 men were convicted of murder in the death of Ahmaud Arbery. Here's a breakdown of the verdict.

Left to right: Travis McMichael, Gregory McMichael and William "Roddie" Bryan

All three of the men accused of chasing and killing 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery have been found guilty of murder in the jogger’s death.  

Here’s a breakdown of the verdict:

  • Travis McMichael: The jury found Travis McMichael guilty of malice murder, four counts of felony murder, two counts of aggravated assault, one count of false imprisonment and one count of criminal attempt to commit a felony. The younger McMichael now faces a sentence of up to life in prison without the possibility of parole on each of the murder charges, 20 years on each of the aggravated assault charges, 10 years on the false imprisonment charge and five years on the criminal attempt to commit a felony charge. The judge will decide whether his sentences will be served consecutively or concurrently.
  • Gregory McMichael: Travis’s father, Gregory McMichael, was found guilty of four counts of felony murder, two counts of aggravated assault, false imprisonment and criminal attempt to commit a felony. He was acquitted only on a malice murder charge. He now faces a sentence of up to life in prison without the possibility of parole on each of the four felony murder charges, 20 years on each of the aggravated assault charges, 10 years on the false imprisonment charge and five years on the criminal attempt to commit a felony charge. 
  • William “Roddie” Bryan Jr.: Their neighbor, William “Roddie” Bryan Jr., was found guilty of three counts of felony murder, one count of aggravated assault, one count of false imprisonment and one count of criminal attempt to commit a felony. He was acquitted of malice murder, one count of felony murder and one count of aggravated assault. He now faces a sentence of up to life in prison without the possibility of parole on each of the murder charges, 20 years on the aggravated assault charge, 10 years on the false imprisonment charge and 5 years on the criminal attempt to commit a felony charge. 

All three men have also been indicted on separate federal hate crime charges, which include interference with rights and attempted kidnapping. Travis and Gregory McMichael were also charged with using, carrying, brandishing and discharging a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence. All three men pleaded not guilty to the federal charges. 

The federal trial is set to take place in February. Since they were being held on the state charges, there has been no federal bond hearing yet. If convicted on the federal charges, they could face an additional penalty of up to life in prison. 

05:26

Jury concluded that a fellow human being "was hunted down," CNN analyst says

Despite criticism that the jury in the Ahmaud Arbery killing trial included only one Black person, CNN senior legal analyst Laura Coates said they all came to the same conclusion: “That a human being was hunted down and killed.”

“A lot was made about the racial composition of this jury … to have only one Black juror, to have the defense counsel refuse to want to allow Black pastors in the courtroom, criticism for the prosecution not raising race enough. Twelve human beings recognized that a human being was hunted down and killed. Why? Because he was running. And, according to that 911 call that the jurors wanted to hear, the emergency to these men was a Black man running,” Coates said.

“Now, this tells you a lot about what we perceive to mean about the jury pool, what we think about the composition of jurors. But 12 human beings — 11 White, one Black — came to the same conclusion of what they saw: A Black man hunted down on the streets of Brunswick, Georgia. Why? Simply because he existed and had the audacity to run and not stop when three White strangers told him they’d blow his head off if he didn’t,” Coates added.  

In Glynn County, where the trial took place, more than 26% of residents are Black while about 69% are White, according to 2019 Census data.

"The absence of a viable claim of self-defense" was key in the case of Ahmaud Arbery's killing, CNN analyst says

“The absence of a viable claim of self-defense” bolstered the prosecution’s case against Gregory McMichael, Travis McMichael and William “Roddie” Bryan Jr., who were found guilty of murder in the death of Ahmaud Arbery, CNN legal analyst Laura Coates explained.

“Even when Travis McMichael took the stand and said, ‘no, he never threatened me. No, I don’t recall him trying to take the gun. No, he never shouted at me.’ How could you possibly make a case at that point for self-defense?” Coates said after the verdict was read.

While Travis McMichael’s case was clear in pulling the trigger, Georgia’s “expansive statute” for being party to the crime covered his father Gregory McMichael and William “Roddie” Bryan Jr. too, Coates explained.

“Travis McMichael pulled the trigger. That is not in dispute.The other two men aided and abetted hunting this man down … These are three people who, for all intents and purposes, are laymen. The prosecution did a phenomenal job ensuring that the jurors saw that each of these men were culpable and that there was no self-defense claim,” she said.

Atlanta mayor says she is "grateful the jury has found the 3 men responsible" for Arbery's death

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said in a statement that she hopes the guilty verdict brings “some level of comfort in knowing that these men are being held accountable for taking the life of an innocent young man.”

Moments ago, a jury found Travis McMichael, his father Gregory McMichael and their co-defendant William “Roddie” Bryan Jr. guilty of murder in the death of Ahmaud Arbery last year.

“I am grateful the jury has found the three men responsible for the senseless murder of Ahmaud Arbery guilty of their crimes. I am hopeful that this verdict gives Mr. Arbery’s family, and people across America, some level of comfort in knowing that these men are being held accountable for taking the life of an innocent young man,” the mayor said in a statement.

Nearly all-White Arbery murder trial jury consisted of 9 women and 3 men

The trial jury consisting of 11 White jurors and one Black juror found Travis McMichael, his father Gregory McMichael and their co-defendant William “Roddie” Bryan Jr. — the three men accused of chasing and killing 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery — guilty of murder. 

There were nine White women, two White men and one Black man serving on the trial jury, with two White women and one White man serving as jury alternates, according to CNN analysis of juror data.

About jury selection: The 12-member trial jury and three alternates were selected after a protracted two-and-a-half-week jury selection process that included summoning 1000 prospective jurors from the South Georgia costal community. Glynn County is about 70% White and 27% Black according to information from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The makeup of the jury was challenged by the state at the conclusion of the jury selection process. Lead prosecutor, Linda Dunikoski, claimed defense attorneys disproportionately struck qualified Black jurors and based some of their strikes on race. 

The judge overseeing the case said, “This court has found that there appears to be intentional discrimination,” but ruled that the case could go forward with the selected jurors because the defense was able to provide valid reasons, beyond race, for why the other Black jurors were dismissed.