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Guilty verdicts on most charges in Ahmaud Arbery case

The jury reached a verdict on Wednesday.
Credit: AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton

GLYNN COUNTY, Ga. — UPDATE: Here are the verdicts:

Travis McMichael, who shot Ahmaud Arbery, was convicted of all charges. His father Greg McMichael was found not guilty of malice murder, but guilty of four counts of felony murder and four additional felony counts. 

William "Roddie" Bryan was found not guilty of malice murder, one felony murder count and one felony aggravated assault count and convicted of three felony murder counts and three additional felony counts.

Each suspect was charged with the same nine counts.

Travis McMichael

  • Malice murder - Guilty
  • Felony murder
    • Count 1 - Guilty
    • Count 2 - Guilty
    • Count 3 - Guilty
    • Count 4 - Guilty
  • Aggravated assault 
    • Count 1 - Guilty
    • Count 2 - Guilty
  • False imprisonment to commit false imprisonment - Guilty
  • Criminal attempt to commit a felony - Guilty 

Greg McMichael

  • Malice murder - Not Guilty
  • Felony murder
    • Count 1 - Guilty
    • Count 2 - Guilty
    • Count 3 - Guilty
    • Count 4 - Guilty 
  • Aggravated assault 
    • Count 1 - Guilty 
    • Count 2 - Guilty 
  • False imprisonment to commit false imprisonment - Guilty 
  • Criminal attempt to commit a felony - Guilty 

William Bryan

  • Malice murder - Not Guilty
  • Felony murder
    • Count 1 - Not Guilty
    • Count 2 - Guilty
    • Count 3 - Guilty
    • Count 4 - Guilty 
  • Aggravated assault 
    • Count 1 - Not Guilty
    • Count 2 - Guilty 
  • False imprisonment to commit false imprisonment - Guilty 
  • Criminal attempt to commit a felony - Guilty

Original story below

The wait for a verdict is set to continue Wednesday, as jurors weigh whether the Feb. 23, 2020 killing of Ahmaud Arbery amounts to murder.

The jury signaled on Tuesday before breaking for the day that they may be getting close.

The foreperson said they were "in the process of working to reach a verdict" when they were asked by Judge Timothy Walmsley if they wanted to go home, though when pressed by the judge about whether a verdict was imminent chose to break for the day.

11Alive's Hope Ford reported Wednesday morning the jury returned to go to deliberations, with the defense asking the judge not to ask them about whether they specifically are close to a decision or not. 

Judge Timothy Walmsley said he would not, and only did so last night to see if it was necessary to dismiss them or not.

RELATED: Deliberations resume this morning in trial of 3 men accused of murdering Ahmaud Arbery

The city of Brunswick and state of Georgia are anxiously awaiting the consequences of a verdict in one of the most politically and socially consequential trials in recent time in Georgia.

Closing arguments wrapped up Tuesday with a final rebuttal from the prosecution and the judge's instruction to the jury. 

After proceedings, Arbery's mother Wanda Cooper-Jones briefly spoke outside the courthouse in Brunswick and said she felt prosecutor Linda Dunikoski had done a "fantastic" job and expressed confidence that the jury would return a guilty verdict.

Father and son Gregory and Travis McMichael and a third man, William "Roddie" Bryan face murder charges in the killing of Arbery, which would go on to be one of the galvanizing cases for racial justice protests that swept the country last year.

In the trial, prosecutors argued the men committed a vigilante killing that was not informed or influenced in the moment by Georgia's actual citizen's arrest law (which was repealed after Arbery's death).

Prosecutor Linda Dunikoski characterized the events of Feb. 23, 2020 as an "attack on Ahmaud Arbery" - initiated by the McMichaels out of unjustified suspicions and assumptions about the 25-year-old Black man. 

"The defendants never ever said 'citizen's arrest.' They never ever said, 'we're making an arrest.' They never said, 'we saw him commit a crime.' So ladies and gentlemen, where in the world did the citizen's arrest thing come from? Because it didn't come from the defendants on February 23, 2020.," Dunikoski said Tuesday.

She cut to a core claim of the defense in her final rebuttal: that Travis McMichael feared for his community and for his life when he killed Arbery.

"There's no fear here. There's only anger," she said. Arbery was killed, she said, "for absolutely no good reason."

Defense attorneys argued the actions of the McMichaels were an honest, sincere and lawful attempt to detain Arbery as a "suspect" in neighborhood thefts and break-ins.

They claimed the pursuit of Arbery that ended in his death was a tactical, restrained process of "watching and waiting" to stop him under reasonable grounds for believing a crime had been committed - which turned into a tragic case of self-defense when Travis shot and killed Arbery.

Bryan's defense attorney, Kevin Gough, largely argued his client should have been treated as a witness to the crime, rather than an active participant warranting a murder charge alongside the McMichaels, and focused on his cooperation with law enforcement.

Prosecutors countered with his descriptions of "blocking" Arbery in with his pickup truck during the five-minute chase the preceded his death, arguing he was a clear party to the crime.

Each of the McMichaels and Bryan face the same nine charges: malice murder, four counts of felony murder, two counts of aggravated assault, false imprisonment and criminal attempt to commit a felony.