A trio of white men have been found guilty of hate crimes after they murdered Ahmaud Arbery, a black man, while he was out on a run.
Greg and Travis McMichael, and their neighbour William “Roddie” Bryan, have already been convicted of the murder of Mr Arbery and sentenced to life in prison.
The trio had denied federal hate crime charges but were convicted of violating Mr Arbery’s civil rights and targeting him because he was black.
The court heard the killing was motivated by “pent-up racial anger”.
Mr Arbery, 25, was pursued and cornered by Travis McMichael, 35; his father and former police officer Greg, 66, and their neighbour Bryan, 52, on 23 February 2020 in Satilla Shores just outside the city of Brunswick, Georgia.
Three white men who chased and shot black man out running sentenced to life in prison
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Mr Arbery had been out on a run, according to prosecutors, while the chasers were driving pickup trucks.
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- Georgia, US
He was then shot by Travis McMichael.
Following the murder conviction last year, the McMichaels were told they would spend the rest of their lives in prison, but Judge Timothy Walmsley ruled that Bryan could seek parole after at least 30 years.
The hate crimes conviction also carries a sentence of up to life in prison.
They were also found guilty of attempted kidnapping. The McMichaels were also convicted on federal weapons charges.
Following the convictions, Mr Arbery’s mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, said: “Ahmaud will continue to rest in peace but he will now begin to rest in power.”
During the hate crimes trial, the jury were shown around two dozen messages and social media posts in which Travis McMichael and Bryan used racist slurs and made derogatory comments about black people.
The defence argued the trio did not kill Mr Arbery because of his race, but acted on the earnest, but mistaken suspicion that he was committing crimes in the neighbourhood.
The jury, consisting of eight white people, three black people, and one Hispanic person, started deliberations on Monday and had a verdict by Tuesday morning.