Update: Father, son get life for hate crime in Ahmaud Arbery’s death

<p>This photo combo shows, from left to right, Travis McMichael, William "Roddie" Bryan, and Gregory McMichael during their trial at at the Glynn County Courthouse in Brunswick, Ga.</p>

AP file

This photo combo shows, from left to right, Travis McMichael, William "Roddie" Bryan, and Gregory McMichael during their trial at at the Glynn County Courthouse in Brunswick, Ga.

BRUNSWICK, Ga. (AP) — The white father and son convicted of murder in Ahmaud Arbery’s fatal shooting after they chased him through a Georgia neighborhood were sentenced Monday to life in prison for committing a federal hate crime.

A U.S. District Court judge sentenced Travis McMichael and his father Greg McMichael, 66, in Brunswick. Both were previously sentenced to life without parole in a state court for Arbery’s murder.

A federal jury in February convicted Greg McMichael, Travis McMichael and neighbor William “Roddie” Bryan of violating Arbery’s civil rights, concluding they targeted him because he was Black. All three were also found guilty of attempted kidnapping, and the McMichaels were convicted of using guns in the commission of a violent crime.

The McMichaels armed themselves with guns and used a pickup truck to chase Arbery after the 25-year-old ran past their home on Feb. 23, 2020. Bryan joined the pursuit in his own truck and recorded cellphone video of Travis McMichael shooting Arbery with a shotgun.

The McMichaels told police they suspected Arbery was a burglar. Investigators determined he was unarmed and had committed no crimes.

<p>FILE - Travis McMichael looks on during the sentencing in his trial along with his father Greg McMichael and neighbor, William "Roddie" Bryan in the Glynn County Courthouse, on Jan. 7, 2022, in Brunswick, Ga. </p>

AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton, Pool, File

FILE - Travis McMichael looks on during the sentencing in his trial along with his father Greg McMichael and neighbor, William "Roddie" Bryan in the Glynn County Courthouse, on Jan. 7, 2022, in Brunswick, Ga. 

U.S. District Court Judge Lisa Godbey Wood said Monday that Travis McMichael had received a fair trial.

“And it’s not lost on the court that it was the kind of trial that Ahmaud Arbery did not receive before he was shot and killed,” the judge said.

Before the two sentencings, she heard from members of Arbery’s family. His mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, said she feels every shot that was fired at her son every day.

“It’s so unfair, so unfair, so unfair that he was killed while he was not even committing a crime,” she said.

<p>A recently painted mural of Ahmaud Arbery is displayed in Brunswick, Ga., on May 17, 2020, where the 25-year-old man was shot and killed in February. </p>

AP Photo/Sarah Blake Morgan, File

A recently painted mural of Ahmaud Arbery is displayed in Brunswick, Ga., on May 17, 2020, where the 25-year-old man was shot and killed in February. 

Greg McMichael addressed the Arbery family before he was sentenced, saying their loss was “beyond description.”

“I’m sure my words mean very little to you but I want to assure you I never wanted any of this to happen there was no malice in my heart or my son’s heart that day,” he said.

Travis McMichael declined to address the court, but his attorney, Amy Lee Copeland, said her client had no convictions before Arbery’s slaying and had served in the U.S. Coast Guard. She said a lighter sentence would be more consistent with what similarly charged defendants have received in other cases, noting that the officer who killed George Floyd in Minneapolis, Derek Chauvin, got 21 years in prison for violating Floyd’s civil rights, though he was not charged with targeting Floyd because of his race. Full story here: