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

By Mike Hayes, Aditi Sangal, Adrienne Vogt, Meg Wagner, Melissa Mahtani and Fernando Alfonso III, CNN

Updated 10:30 PM ET, Wed November 24, 2021
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2:11 p.m. ET, November 24, 2021

Here's what it is like outside the courthouse

From CNN's Elise Hammond

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 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. (Marco Bello/Reuters)

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.

2:20 p.m. ET, November 24, 2021

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

From CNN’s Alta Spells and Devon M. Sayers 

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

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. 

2:17 p.m. ET, November 24, 2021

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

(CNN)
(CNN)

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.

2:07 p.m. ET, November 24, 2021

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

(CNN)
(CNN)

"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.

5:45 p.m. ET, November 24, 2021

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.
2:04 p.m. ET, November 24, 2021

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

From CNN’s Alta Spells and Angela Barajas  

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.

1:59 p.m. ET, November 24, 2021

Judge orders convicted Arbery murderers to remain in sheriff's custody

From CNN's Mike Hayes

After excusing the jury, the judge told Travis McMichael, Gregory McMichael, William "Roddie" Bryan and their attorneys, that he would follow up with them in the coming weeks about a sentencing date.

The judge then ordered that the three men convicted of murdering Ahmaud Arbery remain in the custody of the sheriff.

1:48 p.m. ET, November 24, 2021

Judge polls each juror on the verdict after it was read

(Pool)
(Pool)

Following the reading of the verdicts, Judge Timothy Walmsley polled the jury to confirm that what was read in court was accurate. All the jurors answered yes.

The judge thanked the jurors and excused them from the courtroom.

1:44 p.m. ET, November 24, 2021

William "Roddie" Bryan Jr. found guilty of murder in the death of Ahmaud Arbery 

From CNN’s Alta Spells and Devon M. Sayers 

(Pool)
(Pool)

William “Roddie” Bryan Jr., one of three men, accused of killing 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery, has been found guilty of felony murder.  

Bryan now faces a maximum sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.  

Jurors convicted him of felony murder but acquitted him of the malice murder charge. 

Bryan has also been indicted on separate federal hate crime charges, which include interference with rights and attempted kidnapping. Bryan pleaded not guilty to the federal charges.  

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