Travis McMichael, who fatally shot Arbery, will serve his federal sentence of life plus 10 years. His father, Gregory, who initiated the deadly pursuit of the jogger, will serve life prison plus seven years. Their neighbor William “Roddie” Bryan, who took a video of the killing, was sentenced to 35 years in prison.
Although the men are already serving life sentences, the additional punishments mark “an important moment for the Civil Rights Section of the Department of Justice and an important moment for the federal judiciary,” said Ayesha Bell Hardaway, an associate professor at Case Western Reserve University School of Law and co-director of the school’s Social Justice Institute.
“The Justice Department’s prosecution of this case and the court’s sentences today make clear that hate crimes have no place in our country, and that the Department will be unrelenting in our efforts to hold accountable those who perpetrate them,” Garland said in a statement.
Arbery, 25, was killed Feb. 23, 2020, after the McMichaels grabbed guns and jumped in a truck to chase him after he ran past their home outside Brunswick. Bryan, 52, joined the chase in his own truck, helped block Arbery’s escape and recorded cellphone video of Travis McMichael shooting Arbery at close range as the men struggled.