The Georgia man who killed Ahmaud Arbery withdrew his guilty plea on Friday, days after a judge rejected a plea deal in his and his father’s federal case.
Travis McMichael’s father, Gregory McMichael, formally withdrew his guilty plea on Thursday, meaning the pair will stand trial alongside co-conspirator William Bryan Jr., 50, on federal charges that they violated Arbery’s civil rights and targeted him due to his race. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that juror selection will begin on Monday.
On Monday, U.S. District Judge Lisa Godbey Wood rejected a proposed plea deal, finding it did not consider the wishes of Arbery’s family, who said they were against it. The plea deal would have the McMichaels to serve the first 30 years of their life sentence in federal prison instead of state prison if they pleaded guilty.
The McMichaels were sentenced last month to life in prison without parole for fatally shooting Arbery as he jogged in Brunswick in February 2020. Bryan received life with the possibility of parole for trapping Arbery with his truck while filming the deadly encounter.
It is unclear whether Bryan was ever offered a plea deal in his federal case.
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[Featured image: Ahmaud Arbery/Handout; Gregory and Travis McMichael/Glynn County Detention Center]