Three Georgia men charged with federal hate crimes, attempted kidnapping in death of Ahmaud Arbery

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WASHINGTON (WJBF) – Three Georgia men were indicted by a federal grand jury in the Southern District of Georgia with hate crimes and the attempted kidnapping of Ahmaud Arbery on Tuesday.

35-year-old Travis McMichael, 65-year-old Gregory McMichael and 51-year-old William “Roddie” Bryan were charged with one count each of interference with rights and one count of attempted kidnapping.

Gregory and Travis McMichael were both charged with separate counts of using firearms during the crime of violence.

Travis and his father, Gregory McMichael were also charged with one count each of using, carrying, and brandishing, and for Travis, discharging a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.

According to the release,

Counts One and Two of the indictment allege that the defendants used force and threats of force to intimidate and interfere with Arbery’s right to use a public street because of his race. Specifically, Count One of the indictment alleges that as Arbery was running on a public street in the Satilla Shores neighborhood of Brunswick, Georgia, Travis and Gregory McMichael armed themselves with firearms, got into a truck, and chased Arbery through the public streets of the neighborhood while yelling at him, using their truck to cut off his route, and threatening him with firearms. Count One also alleges that the offense resulted in Arbery’s death. Count Two alleges that William “Roddie” Bryan joined the chase and used his truck to cut off Arbery’s route. 

In addition to the hate-crime charges, Count Three alleges that all three defendants attempted to unlawfully seize and confine Arbery by chasing after him in their trucks in an attempt to restrain him, restrict his free movement, corral and detain him against his will, and prevent his escape. Counts Four and Five allege that during the course of the crime of violence charged in Count One, Travis used, carried, brandished, and discharged a Remington shotgun, and Gregory used, carried, and brandished a .357 Magnum revolver. 

The three men are also charged in another state with malice and murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, false imprisonment, and criminal attempt to commit a felony.

A trial date has not been set for that case.

This investigation was lead by both the FBI and the GBI, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Tara Lyons of the Southern District of Georgia, and Deputy Chief Bobbi Bernstein and Special Litigation Counsel Christopher J. Perras of the Civil Rights Division.

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