Judge Timothy Walmsley kept a minute of silence before sentencing the killers of Ahmaud Arbery

“That one minute equates to a fraction of the time that Ahmaud Arbery is running at the Satilla Shores,” Walmsley said, before falling silent.

The pursuit of Arbery lasted for about five minutes, the judge said after he continued to speak, as father and son Gregory and Travis McMichael and their neighbor William “Roddie” Bryan Jr chased the Da man. 25-year-old black in their neighborhood outside Brunswick. , Georgia.

Men who believe Arbery has committed a crime in their neighborhood, they call the police. The McMichaels were armed and gave chase, and Bryan later joined the chase, recording it from his pickup truck. Bryan’s video shows Travis McMichael getting out of his truck and confronting Arbery, who sparred with Travis over a shotgun before the younger McMichael shot him dead.

“I wanted to put that period of time in context, and the only way I can think of to do so – it might be a bit theatrical, but I think it’s appropriate,” Walmsley told the court. “I want us all to have a concept of time. So what I’m going to do is, I’m going to sit quietly for a minute.”

Arbery’s mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, bowed in silence, according to a pool reporter present in the courtroom. The silence was broken only by the sound of journalists knocking, the reporter said.

“When I think about this, I think from many different angles,” said Walmsley, “and I keep coming back with the horror that must have been in the mind of the young man running through the Satilla Shores.”

The judge said that & # 39;  there seems to be intentional discrimination & # 39;  in Arbery jury selection, but allowed the trial to continue with a black jury

Walmsley sentenced Travis McMichael and Gregory McMichael to life in prison without the possibility of parole. He sentenced Bryan to life in prison with the possibility of parole. Bryan will only be eligible for parole under Georgia law after he has served 30 years in prison because he was convicted of serious violent felonies.

Walmsley gained attention because of other comments he made earlier in the trial, perhaps most notably at the end of the jury selection process. At the time, Walmsley said there appeared to be “intentional discrimination” when the 12-person chosen panel consisted of only one Black member.

The two-and-a-half-week selection process ended in mid-November with prosecutors alleging defense attorneys disproportionately attacked qualified Black jurors and based a their number of strikes over race.

While he ultimately ruled the case could be continued because the defense could give “valid reason, other than race, for why the jurors were fired,” Walmsley said, ” This court found that there appeared to be intentional discrimination.”

CNN’s Eliott C. McLaughlin contributed to this report.


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