Judge Timothy Walmsley has two choices during the sentencing hearing for Travis McMichael, Greg McMichael and Roddie Bryan — whether to sentence them to life in prison without the possibility of parole or give them the chance for parole.
The 19th episode of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Breakdown podcast on the killing of Ahmaud Arbery focuses on the emotional hearing for the three man. The day before Thanksgiving, they were convicted of Arbery’s murder on Feb. 23, 2020.
Also in this episode is an interview with Cobb County District Attorney Flynn Broady and Linda Dunikoski, the lead prosecutor in the case.
“When the jury came back unanimously with that verdict, we knew that they had understood what the case was really all about and had done the right thing,” Dunikoski said.
The sentencing included powerful victim-impact testimony from Arbery’s parents, Marcus Arbery and Wanda Cooper-Jones, and his sister, Jasmine Arbery.
“Ahmaud had a future that was taken from him in an incidence of violence,” Jasmine Arbery said. “He was robbed of his life, pleasures big and small.”
Walmsley, who presided over the trial, has the final word at sentencing. Referring to Ahmaud Arbery, he said, “As we understand it, he left his home apparently to go for a run and he ended up running for his life.”