Travis McMichael Sentenced to Life in Prison for Federal Hate Crimes in Killing of Ahmaud Arbery

Travis McMichael, one of the three White men convicted in the killing of Ahmaud Arbery, was sentenced Monday to life in prison plus 10 years after his federal convictions this year on interference with rights — a hate crime — along with attempted kidnapping and weapon use charges.

via: NBC News

A judge also required that Travis McMichael serve his sentence in state prison, not federal prison as had been requested by his attorney.

Before handing down the sentence, U.S. District Judge Lisa Godbey Wood said McMichael had received a fair trial, “the kind of trial that Ahmaud Arbery did not receive before he was shot and killed.”

“You killed a man on Feb. 23, 2020. The events depicted in the video, they are seared in the annals of this court and and no doubt in your mind forever,” she said.

Amy Lee Copeland, McMichael’s attorney, had asked the judge to allow her client to serve his sentence in federal prison, saying he had received “hundreds of threats” and that he would probably be killed in state custody. She also said she was concerned about an investigation by the Department of Justice into inmate violence in the Georgia state prison system.

The prosecution and members of Arbery’s family asked that McMichael serve his sentence in state prison.

The sentencing of McMichael is the first of three back-to-back for the men involved in the attack.

McMichael’s father, Greg McMichael, 66, and neighbor, William “Roddie” Bryan, 52, also are scheduled to be sentenced Monday.

Marcus Arbery, Ahmaud Arbery’s father, said ahead of the sentencing that “these three devils have broken my heart into pieces that cannot be found or repaired” and asked the court to give the stiffest sentence possible.

“You killed him because he was a Black man and you hate Black people,” he said.

Wanda Cooper-Jones, Ahmaud Arbery’s mother, said Travis McMichael “took my baby son.”

“I feel every shot that was fired every day,” she said.

The McMichaels and Bryan, who are all white, were found guilty in February on federal hate crimes charges in the killing of Arbery, a Black man who was running in their neighborhood when the defendants confronted him in February 2020. The three men were convicted of all of the federal charges against them, including hate crimes, attempted kidnapping and the use of a firearm to commit a crime.

The federal case followed a state trial in November in which the men were convicted of murder and given life sentences. Subsequently they have appealed their convictions in that case.

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