BRUNSWICK, Ga. — The parents of Ahmaud Arbery celebrated on the steps of the Glynn County Courthouse Wednesday following the guilty verdicts against the three men who killed their son nearly two years ago.
Wanda Cooper-Jones, Arbery’s mother, is now huddled with her support team looking back on a day she said she thought would never come.
“I finally got justice for Ahmaud,” Cooper-Jones said was the first thought in her mind as Judge Timothy Wamsley read the verdicts.
Moments later, Travis McMichael was walked out the side door of the courthouse -- wrists and ankles shackled -- headed to a minimum life sentence behind bars. His father Greg was just ahead of him, along with Roddie Bryan too.
“We conquered that lynch mob. This is history today,” father Marcus Arbery said.
Arbery’s father couldn’t contain himself as the guilty verdicts were read, letting out a cheer in court.
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The jury convicted the three men after 11 hours of deliberations over two days and one stop to repeatedly look over video of the shooting. In the end, the jury did not believe Travis McMichael’s testimony and claims of self-defense.
“These are two men who honestly believe that what they were doing the right thing to do. However, a Glynn County jury has spoken and found them guilty. That is a very difficult and sad verdict for our team,” defense attorney Jason Sheffield said.
Special Prosecutor Linda Dunikoski walked out of court to a cheering crowd.
“The verdict today was a verdict based on the facts, on the evidence. And that was our goal,” Dunikoski said.
“I know on this day, I know Ahmaud, as we know as Quez, can rest in peace. He really can rest in peace,” Cooper-Jones said.
All three sets of defense attorneys say they plan to file appeals after the men are sentenced in the coming weeks.
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