US Judge Rejects Federal Plea Deal Meant to Avert Hate Crimes Trial for Ahmaud Arbery Killing


Sputnik News/Moscow: It was previously reported that Greg and Travis McMichael, the father and son convicted of murdering 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery on February 23, 2020, could avoid being tried on federal hate crime charges due to a plea agreement that was filed late Sunday by prosecutors for the US Department of Justice.

US District Court Judge Lisa Godbey Wood moved to reject federal prosecutors’ proposed plea agreement with Greg and Travis McMichael during a Monday pretrial hearing.
Wood noted that the proposed deal would restrict her to set terms during sentencing, which would not be appropriate for such a case.

The McMichaels have until Friday to determine whether they intend to plead guilty.

The decision comes ahead of a February 7 trial in the US Southern District of Georgia, where the McMichaels and William “Roddie” Bryan, the third man convicted in Arbery’s death, will face hate crime charges alleging that Arbery, who was Black, was racially targeted by the men.

All three men have been sentenced to life in prison for their respective roles in the 2020 murder.

Lee Merritt, an attorney for Arbery’s family, proclaimed that the proposed agreement with federal prosecutors amounted to “a huge accommodation to the men who hunted down and murdered Ahmaud Arbery.”

“This is an example of the Department of Justice literally snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.”

— Ahmaud Arbery family attorney Lee Merritt on plea deal for Arbery’s killers

— The Recount (@therecount) January 31, 2022
Merritt claimed that the agreement would allow the McMichaels to spend the first three decades of their life sentences in federal prison, rather than the typical, less comfortable state prison.

Wanda Cooper Jones, Arbery’s mother, issued an accompanying statement asserting that the US DoJ went behind her back to offer the McMichaels “a deal to make their time in prison easier to serve.”
The proposed agreement made no mention of Bryan.

“Ahmaud is a kid you cannot replace,” Marcus Arbery, the victim’s father, told reporters outside of the Brunswick courthouse. “He was killed racially and we want 100% justice, not no half justice.”

Three Sentenced to Life in Prison for Murder of Black Man Ahmaud Arbery

7 January, 20:13 GMT

The 25-year-old’s graphic murder was captured by Bryan, who joined the McMichaels in pursuing Arbery as he jogged through the Satilla Shores neighborhood on February 23, 2020. After catching up to Arbery via their pickup truck, Travis McMichael exited the vehicle with his weapon, prompting a brief struggle between him and the 25-year-old. Arbery was fatally shot just moments later.


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  1. I don’t understand any of this. Arbery was inside someone else’s home which didn’t belong to him at a time when there was a rash of burglaries in the area. The McMichaels attempted to hold him until the Police showed up when Arbery attacked them. Under the law, the McMichaels had a right to defend themselves. While it may be true that the McMichaels don’t like black people, that is their right under the law. They still had the right to protect themselves nevertheless.

    The jury failed to provide any evidence that they would have acted any differently if Arbery had been white. So, with this jury’s verdict, it is now assumed that we can only defend ourselves with deadly force if we like the person we may have to kill who is attacking us.

    How does that make any sense?

    • “Of COURSE you don’t underSTAND…” – what Mike Malloy might have said.

      Never engage in a foolish argument. Conservatives in social media always attempt to ensnare Foundational Black Americans (FBA) in nonsensical arguments to waste our time. But let’s briefly take this argument at face value. The McMichael Gang wasn’t attempting to protect THEIR property. Also, you’re taking at face value that the McMichael Gang isn’t just pulling the “attempted to restrain him” out of their BE-hinds! Finally, this ignores the Common Sense of this argument, just like George Zimmerman: you’re trying to tell me YOU got the gun, but YOU’RE the one that believes he’s in danger!?

      It’s like you tell me you’re attempting to enforce some mythical “authority” that says a black man MUST obey the orders of a white man. If someone has a gun on you and you’re unarmed, you only have 3 options: Run, Grab the Gun, or Beg profusely. So, in other words, the McMichael Gang can just show up to my front door, demand that I come out under the “I’m-White-And-I-Say-So”, demand I give them answers satisfactory to them, murder me because I try to save myself, then pull the “I-felt-my-life-was-threatened-because-he-tried-to-save-himself” story out of their BE-hind!? So, I deserved to be murdered by shotgun because I don’t want you lynching me from a tree!? B1…

  2. When the system functions in its full capacity, the courts and press work hand in hand, and the story and the result is put forth as a teachable moment for all the people.
    Every case is different, but many cases have commonality. In the case of hate crimes that are racially motivated, it is certain that a teachable moment is necessary. I despise the notion of making examples of people, but cannot deny that it likely saves lives and changes hearts.
    Timing and opportunity must be highly considered when making examples. It is the highest calling of the courts to make sure teachable moments are seized with emphasis and exclamation, in order to provide the service of proper justice. This is one such moment.

    • The Crumbley’s are another such moment. Many lives would be impacted in a positive way.
      The issues that the Arbery case and the Crumbley case present, are persistent issues.
      We do not necessarily need new laws, we need proper application of teaching, in the proper timing of teachable moments. We seem to be having an abundance of those. But that is to be expected with so many of those moments , passed over for expedience and ease. We need a firm hand on the wheel right now. Navigation cannot be ignored.

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