Home Crime Ahmaud Arbery: Anger as convicted murders reach plea deals in federal hate crimes case – The Independent

Ahmaud Arbery: Anger as convicted murders reach plea deals in federal hate crimes case – The Independent

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No details about the arriangment were available ahead of a hearing
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Gregory McMichael and his son, Travis McMichael, in November 2021
The family of Ahmaud Arbery are allegedly “crushed” after federal prosecutors asked a court to consider plea deals for his convicted murderers, the McMichaels.
His mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, told The New York Times in an interview on Sunday that she was “totally upset” by federal prosecutors asking for the plea deals for Gregory and Travis McMichael.
The white father and son were sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of 25-year-old Arbery, a Black man, earlier this month and are facing federal hate crime charges.
Ms Cooper-Jones has said she will argue against any plea deal for the white men at a hearing on Monday, and told reporters: “They (prosecutors) went behind my back. I’m totally, totally upset. My anxiety is over the roof.”
The McMichaels were convicted last November in a Brunswick, Georgia state court of murdering the 25-year-old in 2020 while he was out running in Georgia, and earlier this month received sentences of life imprisonment.
William “Roddie” Bryan, a neighbour, was convicted along with the father and son and a state judge ruled that he can be released on parole after 30 years.
All three defendants have pleaded not guilty to all the charges, including the federal hate crime charges that allege Arbery was targeted because of his race.
The death caused anger across the US ahead of the killing of another Black man, George Floyd, in 2020. Both incidents ignited demonstrations against police violence and systemic racism.
Reports of the plea deal for the McMichaels has not been well received by civil rights campaigners, with writer and civil rights activist Shaun King accusing federal prosecutors of ignoring the wishes of the Arbery family.
“Against the wishes of the family of Ahmaud Arbery, Gregory and Travis McMichael have signed plea deals with the Biden Department of Justice and it could be official shortly,” he wrote in a tweet. “They’d serve their sentence in a federal prison instead of Georgia – where the family wants. Family is crushed.”
He went on to argue that it was “outrageous that the State of Georgia worked so hard to charge and convict the murderers of Ahmaud Arbery, a historic moment, only for the feds to basically take over the case and save these murderers from hard time in a State Prison in Georgia”.
No further details about the plea deals were available ahead of the hearing on Monday, and a trial was expected next month.
Additional reporting by Reuters.
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Gregory McMichael and his son, Travis McMichael, in November 2021
REUTERS
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