Travis McMichael, 36, was sentenced to life in prison Monday on federal hate crimes charges for the 2020 killing of 25-year-old Black man Ahmaud Arbery.
Travis McMichael, his father, Gregory McMichael, 66, and neighbor, William “Roddie” Bryan,52, mistook Arbery for a burglar and chased him while he was jogging by their homes in the Satilla Shores neighborhood of Brunswick, Ga. in February 2020. The men cornered him and Travis McMichael fatally shot him while Bryan filmed the entire thing.
They were arrested months after the shooting following the release of the video Bryan captured on his cell phone.
The McMichaels and Bryan were convicted on state murder charges last year. The McMichaels were sentenced to life in prison without parole, while Bryan was sentenced to life with the possibility of parole.
Before their hate crimes trial a federal judge rejected a plea deal reached by prosecutors and the McMichaels that would have allowed them to serve 30 years in federal prison in exchange for pleading guilty to one hate crime charge — interference with rights.
In February, the three men were found guilty of one count each of interference with rights and attempted kidnapping.
Prosecutors in the hate crimes trial presented evidence that showed the men killed Arbery out of racial animus, which included their use of racial slurs and repeated racist characterization of Black people who committed alleged crimes, USA Today reports.
The judge on Monday also required that Travis McMichael serve his sentence in state prison, not federal prison as his attorney requested.
Last week, Travis McMicheal’s attorney asked that her client be kept in federal custody, rather than be transferred to the Georgia state prison, because he fears for his life.
“His concern is that he will promptly be killed upon delivery to the state prison system for service of that sentence: He has received numerous threats of death that are credible in light of all circumstances, and the government has a pending investigation into the Georgia DOC’s ability to keep inmates safe in a system where murder rates have tripled,” his lawyer wrote.
Greg McMichael and Bryan are also scheduled to be sentenced Monday.