GLYNN COUNTY, Ga. — The men who shot and killed Ahmaud Arbery more than two years ago will spend their lives behind bars.
A judge sentenced the three men Friday afternoon inside a Brunswick courthouse.
Travis McMichael, Greg McMichael and William “Roddie” Bryan were convicted of the murder of Arbery in November.
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Judge Timothy Walmsley sentenced the McMichaels to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Bryan was given life with the possibility of parole.
Bryan must serve at least 30 years behind bars before applying for parole.
“I knew that we would come out with a victory,” Arbery’s mother Wanda Cooper Jones said following the sentencing hearing. “I never doubted it. When it would come, I didn’t know, but I knew today would finally come.”
Channel 2′s Tony Thomas has covered the case since the beginning and was in Brunswick Friday for the sentencing there.
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“It’s a tragedy on many, many levels,” Walmsley said about Arbery’s killing ahead of announcing his sentence.
Thomas said the judge even stopped the hearing for one minute at one point to highlight a portion of the time Arbery ran for his life.
“I kept coming back to the terror that must have been running through the mind of the man running through Satilla Shores,” Walmsley said.
None of the men spoke at the sentencing because they still face federal hate crime charges.
“Thoughtfulness, empathy and insight must prevail, not vigilantism,” special prosecutor Linda Dunikoski told the court Friday.
Outside the courthouse, activists chanted support for the Arberys as the New Black Panther Party marched with guns.
Arbery’s parents walked past them, saying this is the day they’ve been praying for.
“Ahmaud, rest in peace, because mom and dad got it. Glory for it,” Arbery’s father Marcus Arbery said.
Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr called the sentencing against the men just.
“These strong sentences fit the severity of their crimes and justice was served today,” Carr said in a statement.
The federal hate crimes trial against the three men is expected to start next month.
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