The three white men accused of murdering Black jogger Ahmaud Arbery near Brunswick now face new federal charges as well.
Father and son Gregory and Travis McMichael and William “Roddie” Bryan were indicted by a federal grand jury in the Southern District of Georgia Wednesday for hate crimes and the attempted kidnapping of Arbery, who was gunned down in February of last year.
The indictment also charges two of the men with separate counts of using firearms during the crime.
Two counts of the indictment accuse the men of using force and threats of force to intimidate and interfere with Arbery’s right to use a public street because of his race.
The two McMichaels are also charged with one count each of using, carrying, brandishing and – in Travis McMichael’s case – discharging a firearm in the commission of a violent crime.
Arbery, 25, was jogging in the Satilla Shores neighborhood when the McMichaels armed themselves, got into a pickup truck and chased Arbery, according to the indictment. They were able to use their truck to cut off his route.
Bryan is accused of joining the chase and using a second truck to further cut off Arbery.
The men told police they suspected Arbery of committing burglaries in the area, and they chased him down to question him.
All three defendants also are facing state charges of malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, false imprisonment and criminal attempt to commit a felony. No trial date has been set in the state case.
The publicity surrounding Arbery’s killing set the stage for the long-awaited passage of a hate crimes law by the General Assembly last June. Georgia lawmakers followed up this year with a repeal of the state’s citizen’s arrest law.
The defendants in the Arbery case cited the citizen’s arrest statute in pleading not guilty to the state murder charges.
Photo: Brunswick, Georgia USA – January 18, 2021: Marcus Arbery, Sr., father of Ahmaud Arbery, carries a portrait of his son in the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Parade. (Michael Scott Milner / Shutterstock.com)
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