The three men linked to the February shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery have been indicted by a grand jury, Cobb County District Attorney Joyette Holmes announced Wednesday, June 24.
Father and son Greg and Travis McMichael and their neighbor William Bryan were charged last month with felony murder in the case, in which the 25-year-old was followed while jogging in his Brunswick, Georgia neighborhood, and confronted by the McMicahels before a physical altercation began, ending with Travis McMichael shooting Arbery dead. Bryan allegedly joined in the chase to capture the incident on video.
The case went largely unnoticed until the video was leaked on social media and a groundswell grew to have the white men charged.
The indictment issues nine formal charges against the three men, including malice murder; four counts of felony murder; two counts of aggravated assault; false imprisonment; and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment, Holmes, the specially appointed prosecutor, announced in front of the Glynn County, Georgia Courthouse.
"This is another step forward in seeking justice for Ahmaud. Our team from the Cobb Judicial Circuit has been committed to effectively bringing forward the evidence in this case, and today was no exception," said Holmes. "It has been an effort of many agencies including the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Justice who have worked together to get to this point.”
Although grand juries have not been convening due to the coronavirus pandemic, a judicial order allowed this one to assemble, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
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A preliminary hearing was held in the case two weeks ago when the results of a Georgia Bureau of Investigation probe were revealed. GBI special agent-in-charge Richard Dial took the stand in the Glynn County courtroom and described the events of that day.
"I believe Mr. Arbery was being pursued, and he ran till he couldn't run anymore, and it was to turn his back to a man with a shotgun or fight with his bare hands against the man with the shotgun," Dial said. He chose to fight." he said. "I believe Mr. Arbery's decision was to just try to get away."
The McMichaels were arrested May 8 and charged with felony murder. William Bryan was arrested May 21, also on felony murder charges. All three men are currently being held without bond.
McMichaels' mugshot courtesy of Glynn County Detention Center; CNN screenshot