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All three men convicted of Ahmaud Arbery's murder will now face trials for federal hate crimes.
On February 23, 2020, Greg McMichael and his son Travis and their neighbour, William ‘Roddie’ Bryan chased 25-year-old Arbery in pickup trucks before Travis gunned him down in what was described as a 'modern-day lynching'.
However, following a failed plea deal they are also now set to face a trial for several federal crimes on Monday, February 7.
The murder of Arbery, which took place in Brunswick, Georgia, was caught on camera, footage of which was leaked online.
The clip showed the victim fleeing from Gregory McMichael, who was a former police officer, and his son.
Gregory told police that he thought Arbery was a suspect of a series of local break-ins.
Two shots can be heard being fired in the video, as the men struggle over the gun, before Arbery can be seen falling to the ground. He was later pronounced dead at the scene.
Travis McMichael appealed to have decades of his life sentence spent in a federal penitentiary as opposed to a state facility, The Daily Beast reports.
However, on Monday, January 31, US District Judge Lisa Godbey Wood rejected the proposed federal plea deal with the Department of Justice, which was filed on Sunday evening.
Statements from Arbery's family informed Wood's decision. They argued that a state prison - as opposed to a federal prison - was the most appropriate place for the men to spend at least the first 30 years of their life sentence.
Wood stated: 'Given the unique circumstances of this case and my desire to hear from all concerned regarding sentencing before I pronounce a sentence, I am not comfortable accepting the terms of the plea agreement.'
The McMichaels also withdrew their pledges to plead guilty to federal hate crime charges during a hearing held today, Friday, February 4.
The three men will now go to trial over three indictments, stated in the court documents as: 'Interference with Rights, Attempted Kidnapping and Use of a Firearm During a Crime of Violence'.
The trio could face further potential life sentences without parole.
If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, contact Stop Hate UK by visiting their website www.stophateuk.org
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