One of the men convicted of Ahmaud Arbery’s murder fears he will be murdered in the Georgia state prison, according to a memo his lawyer filed ahead of the sentencing date on Monday.
Travis McMichael, 36, along with his father, Gregory Johns McMichael, and neighbor, William “Roddie” Bryan, were convicted of state murder in connection with Arbery’s death in 2020. The trio saw the 25-year-old black man, who was killed by their neighborhood in Georgia, ran for a burglar, chased him, and killed him.
The McMichaels were sentenced to life without parole, while Bryan was sentenced to life with the possibility of parole.
All three were also found guilty in February of federal hate crime charges for which they will be sentenced Monday.
Last week, Travis McMichael’s attorney filed a memo requesting that her client keep her client in federal custody, rather than transferred to state prison, because he feared for his life.
Amy Lee Copeland told federal court in the memo that the younger McMichael has been held in the Glynn County Detention Center since May 2020 and has received threats that people were “waiting for him” and that he “wouldn’t go to the yard, and that correctional officer officers have promised a willingness (for a fee or for free) to keep certain doors unlocked and turn their backs so that inmates can harm him.” CNN reported.
“His concern is that he will be killed immediately if surrendered to the state prison system for serving that sentence: he has received numerous death threats that are credible in light of all the circumstances, and the government has an ongoing investigation into the Georgian DOC’s ability to prisoners safe in a system where the murder rate has tripled,” the memo said.
It added that McMichael received so many threats that in January he counted them “out of about 800 threats,” in addition to citing “the government’s investigation into the violence in Georgia’s state prisons,” according to CNN.
A lawyer for his father made a similar request last week, asking the judge not to send his client to a state prison “whose operation could allow inmates to carry out dangerous and even deadly activities,” the statement said. Atlanta Journal Constitution.
Earlier this year, the court rejected a plea deal that would have allowed the McMichaels to serve 30 years in federal prison. The men face another life sentence at Monday’s hearing in Brunswick, Georgia, as the federal hate charge carries that potential penalty.
Arbery’s family opposed not only the plea deal that was ultimately rejected by the judge, but also the possibility of the 25-year-old’s killers serving their sentences in federal custody rather than state custody.