As the three men charged in the murder of Ahmaud Arbery wind through the justice system, a grand jury has indicted them on a bevy of charges tied to the shooting death of the 25-year-old who was jogging through a majority-white Georgia neighborhood when the men decided to pursue him.
Here’s more from the AJC on the nine counts facing each of the three defendants:
A grand jury has indicted the three suspects accused in the death of 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery, the Cobb County District Attorney said Wednesday.
Travis and Greg McMichael and William “Roddie” Bryan were previously charged with felony murder in the death of Arbery, who was shot in February in a Brunswick neighborhood. All three are being held without bond in the Glynn County jail.
The indictment returned Wednesday formally charges each of the three defendants — Travis and Greg McMichael and William “Roddie” Bryan — with nine counts: malice murder; felony murder (four counts); aggravated assault (two counts); false imprisonment; and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment, the DA said.
While most grand juries have not been in session due to the coronavirus, a judicial order allowed for those grand juries impaneled before the crisis to reconvene, Cobb DA Joyette Holmes said. Holmes announced the indictment Wednesday afternoon in front of the Glynn courthouse.
Arbery was murdered on Feb. 23, but initially no charges were filed in the case, leading to an outpouring of public contempt which eventually spurred the GBI to investigate and charge the men. McMichaels, a father and son, were quickly charged, as the younger had shot Arbery with a shotgun.
Greg McMichael, a retired investigator with the Brunswick Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s office, told police on Feb. 23, the day of the shooting, that he believed Arbery matched the description of a burglary suspect. When he saw Arbery running in their neighborhood just south of Brunswick, McMichael and his son armed themselves and followed him in their truck.
Prosecutors say Bryan joined their pursuit, eventually trapping Arbery, who tried to run past the McMichael’s pick-up but was confronted by Travis McMichael. The two men briefly tussled before Travis McMichael fired three shots at Arbery, who was unarmed, authorities say. Family and friends say the avid runner was out for a jog.
Charges against Bryan were announced the following week, as he also agreed to testify against the McMichaels.
Holmes was later appointed to prosecute the case after other area DAs recused themselves.
The family is reportedly “pleased” with the jury result.
The family was ecstatic to hear that it happened this morning,” Holmes said outside the courthouse.
A judge found probable cause against all three suspects earlier this month.