The attorney for Gregory McMichael, one of three men convicted of killing Ahmaud Arbery, told the court that her client was a “man of goodness,” that he didn’t intend to kill Arbery and that should be factored into his sentencing.
“If you never wanted another person to die,” attorney Laura Hogue told the judge, “you can’t be the worst of the worst.”
McMichael was convicted in November on a raft of charges, including felony murder, in the 2020 slaying of the 25-year-old Black jogger. His son Travis McMichael and neighbor William “Roddie” Bryan, Jr. were also convicted. All three are expected to be sentenced today.
Hogue asked the court to sentence McMichael to a life sentence with the possibility of parole.
“The best indicator of what happened in order to respect the jury’s verdict is to listen to the jury verdict. The jury found that Greg McMichael as a party to the crime committed felonies that unintentionally lead to Ahmaud Arbery’s death,” Hogue said in today’s sentencing hearing.
“What this jury found is that this was an unintentional act,” Hogue added. “So, if life without parole is a sentence that is held for only the worst of the worst, it simply can’t be a sentence for a person who never intended that tragic result that took place of Feb. 23.”
Hogue said the judge should consider McMichael’s service to the community as a law enforcement officer when considering his sentence. She said “he remains a man of goodness.”
“We are here for a driveway decision to pursue Ahmaud Arbery and a five-minute chase that ended in tragedy,” she said, adding “he needs to be punished,” but urging the judge to contrast McMichael’s “life of a goodwill and service and the bad decisions that were made that day.”