Here's what happened today in the sentencing of the 3 men who killed Ahmaud Arbery.
Travis McMichael and his father, Gregory McMichael, were sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole by Judge Timothy Walmsley on Friday in the death of Ahmaud Arbery.
William “Roddie” Bryan was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole.
Walmsley addressed Arbery's family ahead of the sentencing, warning that "sentencing does not generally provide closure."
"In this case, I think many people are seeking closure. The mother, the father, the community, and maybe even parts of the nation, but closure is hard to define and is a granular concept. It's seen differently by all depending on their perspective and the prism of your lives," Walmsley said.
A jury consisting of nine White women, two White men and one Black man, found the men guilty on a raft of charges, including felony murder, in November.
Here's what else happened in court Friday:
- A minute of silence: Walmsley called for silence for one minute before moving forward with the sentencing. "That one minute represents a fraction of the time that Ahmaud Arbery was running in Satilla Shores," he said, before going silent. The chase of Arbery occurred for about five minutes, the judge said once he resumed speaking. "When I thought about this, I thought from a lot of different angles, and I kept coming back to the terror that must have been in the mind of the young man running through Satilla Shores," he said
- Arbery's mother says her son's killers did not deserve leniency: Wanda Cooper-Jones, Arbery’s mother, addressed the court before the sentencing of the three men convicted of killing her son. “These men have chose to lie and attack my son and his surviving family. They each have no remorse and do not deserve any leniency," Cooper-Jones said in her victim impact statement. "They chose to treat him differently than other people who frequently visited their community. And when they couldn't sufficiently scare him or intimidate him, they killed him,” she said.
- A father left without his son: Marcus Arbery, the father of Ahmaud, shared a victim impact statement ahead of the sentencing. "You know something that just does not sit right with me at this time? The man who killed my son has sat in this courtroom every single day next to his father. I'll never get that chance to sit next to my son ever again — not at the dinner table, not at the holidays and not at a wedding," he said Friday in the courtroom. "When I close my eyes, I see his execution in my mind over and over. I'll see that for the rest of my life."
- Arbery was "hunted down and shot": Walmsley said Arbery was "hunted down and shot" before the sentencing of the three men convicted of killing the 25-year-old Black man running in a Georgia neighborhood in 2020. Walmsley described the events that led to the shooting of Arbery and commented on remarks made by the three convicted men. "In my opinion, Greg McMichael very early on in this tried to establish a narrative. He made comments like 'Ahmaud Arbery was trapped like a rat,' 'stop or I'll blow your — and I won't repeat it again — head off.' Effectively admitted that he wasn't sure what Ahmaud Arbery had done wrong," Walmsley said.
- Whether to profit from Arbery's death: After the three men convicted for the murder of Arbery were sentenced to life in prison, prosecutor Linda Dunikoski requested that they not be "allowed to make any money off of their actions, such as a book deal, a movie deal, social media deal or anything along any way, shape or form make any money off of this experience, this conviction, and this trial." She additionally asked if "any money be made, that it go into a fund for the Arbery family." Walmsley told Dunikoski to submit a formal request to the court and said he would review it.