3 indicted on murder charges in African-American jogger’s death

A US grand jury has indicted three suspects on murder charges in the killing of Ahmaud Arbery, an African-American man who was fatally shot while he was jogging in Georgia in February, a district attorney said.

On Wednesday, Glynn County’s grand jury indicted Travis McMichael, Gregory McMichael and William Bryan on malice and felony murder charges for the death of Arbery, Xinhua news agency quoted Cobb District Attorney Joyette Holmes as saying at a press conference.

“This is another step forward in seeking justice for Ahmaud,” Holmes said.

The three men were charged with nine counts, including malice murder, four counts of felony murder, two counts of aggravated assault, false imprisonment and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment, according to media reports.

Arbery, 25, was chased, shot and killed while jogging outside Brunswick on February 23.

No charges had been filed in the case until a smartphone video of the shooting went viral in early May, making it a national case.

According to police reports cited by US media, Gregory McMichael, a retired police detective, saw Arbery jogging and thought he was a suspect in a series of break-ins in the neighbourhood.

He then called his son, and they armed themselves with a handgun and a shotgun, respectively, and chased Arbery in a truck.

Bryan saw the McMichaels driving by and joined the pursuit.

The three are currently being held in the Glynn County jail without bond.

Arbery’s tragedy fueled widespread outrage over racial inequity in the US as African-Americans are suffering a disproportionate share of the negative health and economic outcomes from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.