GLYNN COUNTY, Ga. — This month marks two years since Ahmaud Arbery was murdered in Brunswick, Georgia.
An explosive case -- a Black man was murdered by three white men who were convicted and sentenced, in Glynn County Superior Court, to life in prison late last year.11
They will be back in court on Monday.
They will be in a Brunswick federal courtroom, this time, on trial accused of killing Arbery because of his race.
Arbery’s family insists that justice will not be complete unless the men are convicted in that federal case, too.
On Friday, following the final, pre-trial hearing in Brunswick federal court, Ahmaud Arbery’s father, Marcus Arbery, told reporters as he left the courthouse that he is ready for the three men who were already convicted of murdering his son to be found guilty of hate crimes against his son, too.
“I got one word to say,” Marcus Arbery said, “all we want is one-hundred percent justice for the Arbery family. That’s all we’re looking for. And to God be the glory.”
Two of the three defendants, Travis McMichael and his father Greg McMichael, at first agreed to plead guilty to the federal hate crimes charges if they got a deal.
But the judge said no deal, and the two withdrew their guilty pleas this week.
So all three men, Travis and Greg McMichael, and William "Roddie" Bryan, will be going on trial on Monday.
The federal indictment accuses the three white men of attacking and killing Ahmaud Arbery, a Black man, in February, 2020, “because of Arbery’s race and color.”
Will jurors hear that Travis and Greg McMichael were willing to plead guilty to that?
Jurors may hear evidence that Travis, for example, according to prosecutors, moments after shooting and killing Arbery, stood over Arbery’s body and referred to him using a racial epithet.
One of the Arbery family’s attorneys is Clifford Jones, who said Friday that the murder convictions were only the first step. Hate crime convictions, he said, must be next.
“It’s still the same battle,” Jones said. “We’re just going further up the hill. So we still haven’t gotten to the top, yet. At the top is 100% justice for Ahmaud.”
On Monday, when jury selection begins in Brunswick, a pool of 1,000 potential jurors will be available, brought in from across south Georgia for the case.