Ahmaud Arbery’s loved ones got a slight sense of justice in November 2021. A jury convicted the three white men who hunted and killed Ahmaud in February 2020. Travis McMichael and Gregory McMichael, along with their neighbor William Bryan Jr., chased the 25-year-old through a Georgia neighborhood before shooting and killing him. The legal system handed Travis and Gregory life without parole sentences in early January. Meanwhile, William received life with the possibility of parole, only eligible after serving at least 30 years.
That conviction came from a state court. Now, federal prosecutors have reportedly reached a plea deal with the McMichaels. Per CNN, the prosecutors filed court documents on Sunday asking a judge to agree on the deal terms. At this time, it’s unclear what the terms are or what punishment it includes for the convicted racists. The documents did not name William.
According to The New York Times, Ahmaud’s mother Wanda Cooper-Jones responded to news of the McMichael plea agreements in an interview.
“They went behind my back. I’m totally, totally upset,” Wanda said referencing prosecutors. “My anxiety is over the roof.”
Apparently, the federal prosecutors actually reached out to Wanda. They asked the grieving mother if she would approve of a plea deal. Per NY Times, Wanda said no. Still, prosecutors moved forward with filing the notice in the U.S. District Court.
Wanda wants the federal trial to take place. A guilty verdict on hate crime charges means no more talks of self-defense. Travis McMichael’s legal team argued that defense during the state trial. They said Travis fired his shotgun at Ahmaud three times at close range to protect himself.
A federal judge has not yet decided on the plea agreements. This is a developing story.
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