ATLANTA — A federal judge on Monday issued another life sentence to Travis McMichael, one of three white Georgia men convicted of committing a federal hate crime for the pursuit and slaying of Ahmaud Arbery, an unarmed Black man, in February 2020.
In an equally dramatic move, U.S. District Court Judge Lisa Godbey Wood also rejected a request by Mr. McMichael — who was already sentenced to life for his state murder conviction — that he be allowed to serve the first few years of the concurrent sentences in federal prison. His lawyer has said that Mr. McMichael has received hundreds of death threats, and argued in court that her client would be safer in the federal system and less likely to be subject to “vigilante justice.”
The sentencing hearing for Mr. McMichael, 36, in a Brunswick, Ga., courtroom, is the first of three hearings set for Monday for the men, whose actions, caught on video, horrified the nation and the world. Prosecutors contended that the killing of Mr. Arbery was the men’s own version of vigilante justice, motivated by racism. The second man — Mr. McMichael’s father, Greg McMichael, 66 — is set to be sentenced at 1 p.m. Eastern time, and the third man who chased Mr. Arbery, William Bryan, has a hearing at 3 p.m.