Ahmaud Arbery‘s parents are speaking out after they learned the men convicted of murdering their son were allowed to pick a “preferred” prison facility to serve their sentences in what they called an “unauthorized backroom plea deal.”
According to reports, federal prosecutors reached a plea deal with Travis McMichael and Greg McMichael over the hate crime charges each of the men face for the February 23, 2020 murder of 25-year-old Ahmaud.
The deal allows the men to serve 30 years in a “preferred federal prison” rather than a state penitentiary. Arbery’s parents said the agreement is a betrayal that is also a “huge accommodation to the men who hunted down and murdered” their son.
“Wanda Cooper-Jones kept her promise to Ahmaud Arbery to get her son justice. Today the DOJ is attempting to ‘snatch defeat from the jaws of victory,’” Ahmaud’s mother’s attorney, Lee Merritt tweeted Monday (January 31). “We will not allow it.”
The plea deal still requires the approval of US District Court Judge Lisa Godbey Wood. Based on court documents obtained by The Washington Post, it’s unclear if the Monday morning hearing Wood previously scheduled will address this new deal.
Jury selection had been scheduled for February 7 for the McMichaels and their neighbor William “Roddie” Bryan who were all found guilty of chasing Ahmaud in the Satilla Shores neighborhood of Brunswick, Georgia before Travis McMichael shot and killed him.
To increase the odds of having a fair and unbiased jury, the judge opened up the selection to 43 counties across the state.
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