The three suspects in the killing of Ahmaud Arbery were officially indicted by a Georgia grand jury on murder charges, the district attorney in Cobb County announced Wednesday. The McMichaels initially claimed they felt inclined to follow Arbery, accusing him of burglary after a series of break-ins in their neighborhood.
Lawyers for the Mr McMichaels have cautioned against a rush to judgement and have said the full story will come out in court.
"This is another positive step, another great step, for finding justice for Ahmaud, for finding justice for this family and for the community beyond", she said. His attorney, Kevin Gough, has insisted that his client was just "a witness to the tragic shooting death", adding that Bryan had fully cooperated with investigators.
According to a breaking news report from NBC News, 64-year-old Gregory McMichael, his 34-year-old son, Travis McMichael, and 50-year-old William "Roddie" Bryan were all charged with malice and felony murder in the February 23 killing of Arbery.
Cooper-Jones said, "Maybe if the McMichaels and Mr. Bryan would have known that this deal was in place, they would have probably thought more than twice before they took the law into their own hands and took Ahmaud's life".
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A bill newly passed by the Georgia legislature allowing for stiffer sentences when a victim is shown to have been targeted because of race is not retroactive and can not be applied in the Arbery case, Merritt said. Bryan was arrested on May 22, and an arrest warrant said he tried "to confine and detain" Arbery without legal authority by "utilizing his vehicle on multiple occasions" before Arbery was shot.
Bryan was arrested a few weeks later after the Georgia Bureau of Investigation indicated they had acquired additional video evidence. The three remain jailed without bond.
According to Holmes, the Cobb District Attorney's Office presented the case to an existing grand jury due to the rules of Georgia's statewide judicial emergency.
A Grand jury has returned indictments of the three suspects in the murder of Ahmaud Arbery. Local law enforcement officials have debunked their theory.