Travis McMichael: Man who chased black jogger Ahmaud Arbery before killing him sentenced to life for federal hate crime

·2-min read

A man who shot a black jogger to death in the US after chasing him through a neighbourhood has been sentenced to life in prison for committing a federal hate crime.

Travis McMichael was part of the trio who killed Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia in 2020.

McMichael, who was previously in the Coast Guard, had already been given a life sentence in state prison after being convicted of murder in a Georgia courthouse last year.

Mr Arbery's murder, which was filmed by one of the killers, contributed to the Black Lives Matter movement which grew significantly in 2020 alongside cases such as the murder of George Floyd.

McMichael's co-defendants were his father, former police officer Gregory McMichael, 66, and their neighbour, William "Roddie" Bryan, 52.

Bryan filmed the encounter, in which Travis can be seen shooting Mr Arbery with a shotgun.

The McMichaels were in one vehicle, while Bryan was in another. They armed themselves with firearms and chased after Mr Arbery after he ran past their home on 23 February, 2020. They claimed Mr Arbery - who was out jogging - was connected to recent burglaries in the area.

No one was arrested immediately following the murder, but only once the video became public.

In the federal trial, the trio were found guilty of violating Mr Arbery's civil rights by attacking him because of his race and attempted kidnapping, and were sentenced to life in prison.

Gregory and Bryan are awaiting sentencing in the federal trial.

US District Judge Lisa Godbey Wood said Travis had received a fair trial, "the kind of trial that Ahmaud Arbery did not receive before he was shot and killed".

"You killed a man on 23 Feb February 2020. The events depicted in the video, they are seared in the annals of this court and no doubt in your mind forever," she said.

Marcus Arbery, Ahmaud Arbery's father, said ahead of the sentencing that "these three devils have broken my heart into pieces that cannot be found or repaired" and asked the court to give the stiffest sentence possible.

"You killed him because he was a black man and you hate black people," he said.