01 February 2022 - US judge rejects plea deal for man who killed Ahmaud Arbery
Federal judge rejects plea deal on hate-crime charges in Ahmaud Arbery's killing over sentencing concerns
Eliott C. McLaughlin, Angela Barajas and Melissa Alonso (CNN, 01/02/2022)
US District Judge Lisa G. Wood on Monday rejected the plea deal reached by prosecutors and Travis McMichael on hate crime charges, a plan that would have precluded his federal trial in the killing of Ahmaud Arbery.
Earlier, McMichael had agreed to plead guilty to a single hate crime charge -- interference with rights -- in exchange for prosecutors recommending he serve 30 years in federal prison.
Under the terms of the agreement, McMichael, 36, would have been transferred from a state prison to federal custody, then after completing that sentence be returned to Georgia to finish his life in prison without parole state sentence. Five of those final years would have counted to his supervised release from federal prison.
Ahmaud Arbery: Hate crime plea deal rejected by US judge in murder case
(BBC News, 01/02/2022)
A US judge has rejected a plea deal between federal prosecutors and two of the three white men convicted of murdering black jogger Ahmaud Arbery.
District Judge Lisa Wood said she was not willing to be bound to the clause that allowed them to serve time in a federal, and not state, prison.
Her ruling comes after Travis McMichael admitted for the first time race was his motivation for chasing Mr Arbery.
'We want 100% justice': Judge rejects plea deal with man who killed Ahmaud Arbery
N'Dea Yancey-Bragg, Christal Hayes and Raisa Habersham (USA Today, 01/02/2022)
A federal judge rejected a plea agreement Monday that would have averted a hate crimes trial for one of the men convicted in the killing of Ahmaud Arbery.
U.S. District Judge Lisa Godbey Wood ruled against the agreement made with Travis McMichael after hearing an emotional plea from Arbery's family who was opposed to the plea arrangements with McMichael and his father, Greg McMichael.
‘Southern hospitality’ doesn’t always apply to Black people, as revealed in the killing of Ahmaud Arbery
Barbara Harris Combs (The Conversation, 12/01/2022)
The idea of community and who belongs and who does not was a common theme in the Jan. 7, 2022, sentencing hearing of three white men convicted of killing Ahmaud Arbery.
“They chose to target my son because they didn’t want him in their community,” said Arbery’s mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, during the hearing. “When they couldn’t sufficiently scare him or intimidate him, they killed him.”
Arbery was the 25-year-old unarmed Black man who was shot to death on Feb. 23, 2020, while jogging through a predominantly white, middle-class neighborhood in Brunswick, Georgia. Race went largely unspoken throughout the trial, but the idea of belonging was clearly drawn in black and white.