[ad_1] Ahmaud Arbery's parents slammed prosecutors for a proposed plea deal that could let their son's killers dodge trial on federal hate crime cha
Ahmaud Arbery’s parents slammed prosecutors for a proposed plea deal that could let their son’s killers dodge trial on federal hate crime charges.
Prosecutors for the U.S. Justice Department filed a notice of plea agreements for Greg McMichael and his son, Travis McMichael, late Sunday – but the documents did not disclose the terms of the deal.
“The DOJ has gone behind my back to offer the men who murdered my son a deal to make their time in prison easier to serve,” said Arbery’s mother Wanda Cooper-Jones. “I have been completely betrayed by the DOJ lawyers.”
In November, a Georgia state jury convicted the McMichaels and a third defendant, their neighbor, William “Roddie” Bryan, for Arbery’s 2020 murder.
MEN FOUND GUILTY IN ARBERY MURDER WILL GO TO FEDERAL COURT ON HATE CRIME CHARGES
All three men were sentenced to life in prison on Jan. 7. There was no mention of a deal for Bryan in the federal case.
The trio are slated to go to trial Feb. 7 in the U.S. Southern District of Georgia on hate crime charges that allege they violated the 25-year-old’s civil rights by targeting him because he was Black.
An attorney for Arbery’s parents, Lee Merritt, said the family objected to the deal because it could let the McMichaels spend the first 30 years of their sentences in a cushy federal prison rather than a harsher state prison.
AHMAUD ARBERY TRIAL VERDICT: TRAVIS MCMICHAEL FOUND GUILTY ON ALL COUNTS
Arbery’s father, Marcus Arbery, told reporters Monday outside the federal courthouse that he was “mad as hell.” The parents said they would lobby the judge to reject the plea deals during a pretrial hearing Monday.
Almost two years ago, on Feb. 23, the McMichaels grabbed their guns and pursued Arbery after spotting him running in their neighborhood on a Sunday afternoon outside the port city Brunswick.
Bryan joined the chase and recorded Travis McMichael blast Arbery in the chest with his shotgun on his cellphone after the two struggled over the gun.
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During the state trial, Travis McMichael testified that he and his father chased Arbery through the neighborhood in their pickup truck for five minutes because they suspected the young man was a burglar, and they were trying to make a citizen’s arrest.
He told jurors he shot Arbery in self-defense after he was attacked. Arbery was unarmed, and there is no evidence he had stolen anything.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.