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Ahmaud Arbery's mother grateful for guilty verdicts nearly 2 years after he was killed while jogging

Jessica Schladebeck, New York Daily News on

Published in News & Features

When asked what she would say to the defendants should she have the chance, Cooper-Jones offered a sympathetic response.

“I would simply tell them that their bad decisions have impacted two families — my family and again, their family.”

“Not only did the McMichaels lose a son, they lost a grandfather and they will be impacted by his grandchild,” she said. “I lost a son, but they lost three generations there.”

Travis McMichael was found guilty on all nine charges brought against him, including malice murder and four counts of felony murder. His father, meanwhile, was not convicted on the malice murder charge though he was found guilty on four counts of felony murder in addition to several others. And Bryan was convicted on six charges, including three of the felony murder counts.

All three men face up to life in prison.

The trial’s outcome was lauded by activists and citizens nationwide as well as by Cooper-Jones and Merritt, who was particularly pleased prosecutors chose to focus on the “criminal nature” of the case, rather than race.


“What I appreciated about the prosecution’s strategy was that they said Ahmaud Arbery was a citizen in the United States running on a free road, and that alone entitled him to life,” he said. “Not by virtue of any, you know, protected class that he belongs to. But we all enjoy these rights as citizens of the United States of America.”

Arbery’s mother added that she was not surprised by the jurors’ decision, but that she still could not help feeling overcome with emotion at the time it was announced.

“There’s just really no words to really explain all the emotions that I was going through at that time,” she said.

The sentencing dates have not yet been set for any of the men convicted in the case.


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