YES! They did the right thing, and the split verdicts indicate that they gave each charge and each defendant a lot of thought.
Excerpts from the Article:
Jurors have found all three men guilty of murder in the killing Ahmaud Arbery.
The decision was read to the court shortly after 12:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Earlier Wednesday, Jurors asked to review video of the deadly encounter between Arbery and the men charged with murder in his killing as deliberations entered their second day here in coastal Georgia.
The jury also asked the court to play a recording of the 911 call that one of the defendants placed on Feb. 23, 2020, just before his son fatally shot Arbery, a 25-year-old Black man. Their verdict in this nationally watched case —follows 10 days of witness testimony .
Greg McMichael, his son Travis McMichael and their neighbor William “Roddie” Bryan were charged with murder, aggravated assault, false imprisonment and attempt to falsely imprison.
The panel deliberated for more than six hours Tuesday before returning Wednesday morning. Less than an hour later, they asked to review cellphone video at the heart of the case.
The cellphone video — shot by Bryan — which was leaked in May 2020, drew public outcry and prompted national outrage. The footage shows Arbery running ahead of Bryan, toward the McMichaels and their parked truck. Both McMichaels are armed.
Arbery eventually passes the truck and then runs toward Travis McMichael; the truck obscures their movements as a first shot rings out. The two men struggle, and Arbery falls to the ground.
Prosecutors say the men were dangerous vigilantes who jumped to conclusions about an unarmed “Black man running down the street” and violently confronted him. The defense said the accused suspected Arbery of break-ins and were attempting to make a legitimate “citizen’s arrest” that turned deadly when Travis McMichael shot in self-defense.
Travis McMichael testified that he fired after Arbery struck him and grabbed his gun. The prosecution has accused him of lying from the stand and noted discrepancies with his early statements to police.
Man who fatally shot Ahmaud Arbery says he feared for his life in struggle for gun
The jury also listened to a 911 call that Greg McMichael made toward the end of what prosecutors say was a five-minute chase. Prosecutors have repeatedly highlighted his first words to the dispatcher: “I’m out here at Satilla Shores. There’s a Black male running down the street.”
The dispatcher asks for more information, but then Greg McMichael appears to command Arbery to stop. “Travis!” he yells. Shots are fired.
The jury received the case shortly before noon Tuesday, following a final rebuttal from prosecutors of the defense’s closing arguments.
Lawyers for Arbery’s family said Wednesday that the jury’s verdict will reverberate around the country. The case drew comparisons to a lynching last year and accusations that authorities had brushed a Black jogger’s death aside. It garnered attention just before the police killing George Floyd, a Black man in Minneapolis, sparked a broader reckoning with racism in America.
“This is a very consequential day, not just for Ahmaud Arbery but for families all over America,” said Ben Crump, a prominent civil rights lawyer who represents the family. “We have to show that America must be better than what we saw in that video.”
The Rev. Al Sharpton, who attended court with Arbery’s family, criticized the trial itself — saying it featured the “most racist language” he had ever witnessed in a court case and that he prays the jury “will show this is the 21st year of the 21st century and we are not back in the days of Jim Crow.”
He said he returned to Brunswick to comfort the family, including Arbery’s mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones. Arbery’s family accused the defense of desperation this week after Laura Hogue, an attorney for Greg McMichael, used her closing argument to blame Arbery for his own death, saying he ran away “instead of facing the consequences” and “chose to fight.”