Georgia Bureau Of Investigations Refutes Claims That Third Man Arrested In Ahmaud Arbery Case Was Just A Witness

Georgia Bureau Of Investigations Refutes Claims That Third Man Arrested In Ahmaud Arbery Case Was Just A Witness

William Bryan was charged with felony murder and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment.

Published May 23rd

Written by BET Staff

Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s director says he’s “confident” in the arrest of William Bryan, a third alleged suspect in Ahmaud Arbery’s killing and the man who recorded his shooting death on February 23.

Bryan, who is now facing felony murder and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment chargers, was arrested Thursday evening (May 21) and booked into the Glynn County Jail.

"I can tell you that if we believed he was a witness we wouldn't have arrested him," GBI Director Vic Reynolds said in a Friday news briefing. "At this point, we feel confident that individuals who needed to be charged have been charged.”

While Reynolds said he doesn’t expect to make any more arrests in the case, he made it clear that it would depend on where the investigation leads the GBI, according to WSB-TV 2.

Bryan's exact role in Arbery's killing is not yet clear, but there has been speculation that he used his car to block Arbery from escaping the men who killed him, Gregory McMichael, 64, and his 34-year-old son Travis McMichael.

RELATED: Georgia Man Who Filmed Ahmaud Arbery Killing Has Been Charged With Murder

The McMichaels were arrested and charged with murder on May 7, 73 days after Arbery was killed. No arrests were pursued until a video of his death went viral. 

GBI released two warrants for Bryan. The false imprisonment warrant accuses Bryan of "utilizing his vehicle on multiple occasions ... with the intention of confining and detaining Arbery," adding that Bryan lacked the legal authority to do so. 

The second warrant states, "the accused did cause the death of another, Ahmaud Arbery, during the commission of a felony."

During the press conference, Reynolds says he understood "people's concern or curiosity" reguarding Bryan’s murder charge even though he isn’t accused of shooting Arbery nearly three months ago.

"As the warrants indicated, he's charged with an underlying felony, " Reynolds said. "He's also charged with felony murder. So we believe the evidence would indicate that his underlying felony helped cause the death of Ahmaud Arbery."

The attorney for the Arbery family released a statement following the news of Bryan’s arrest on Thursday.

"Mr. Bryan was saying that he wasn’t involved today. On the day of the shooting he told law enforcement officers, according to the police report, that he used his car to block Ahmaud’s path,” attorney Lee Merritt said. “That’s when everybody was treating Ahmaud like a criminal as opposed to a victim so it was popular at the time."

 

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