Prosecutors in the federal hate crimes case against the white men convicted of murdering Black jogger Ahmaud Arbery say that they have reached plea agreements with two of the three defendants.
According to court records filed Sunday by prosecutors, Travis McMichael, 36, and his father Greg McMichael, 66, have agreed to terms that, if accepted by the judge, would dispose of the charges against them. The plea agreements themselves were not made publicly available Sunday.
The McMichaels and William “Roddie” Bryan, 52, were each charged in April 2021 with attempted kidnapping and interfering with Arbery’s civil rights for chasing down Arbery as he was jogging outside Brunswick, Georgia, in February 2020. After the chase, Travis McMichael fatally shot Arbery with a shotgun.
All three defendants pleaded not guilty last year to the federal charges. In a separate state trial, they were each found guilty of murdering Arbery.
Jury selection for the federal trial is currently scheduled to begin Feb. 7.
In the new plea agreement notices, prosecutors asked the court to schedule a public proceeding with the defendants regarding the proposed pleas. According to federal rules of criminal procedure, a judge cannot accept a plea agreement until such a proceeding is held.
Arbery’s mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, told CBS in early January that she rejected a plea deal offered to the killers of her son, saying she believed the men should face trial for hate crimes.
“I think that the federal charges are just as important as the state charges, and I think that they need to stand trial for those charges as well,” Cooper-Jones said.
This story comes to The Current GA through a reporting partnership with GPB News, a non-profit newsroom covering the state of Georgia.