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Ahmaud Arbery murder: Travis McMichael to stand trial on federal hate crime charges

Travis McMichael will now stand trial on federal hate crime charges after he withdrew his guilty plea in court Friday morning.

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The decision came after the judge overseeing the case rejected the plea deal, The Associated Press reported.

McMichael, his father Greg McMichael and a third man, William “Roddie” Bryan, were convicted of the murder of Ahmaud Arbery. They were sentenced to life in prison during their state trial last year.

The deal would have required both father and son to admit that Arbery’s killing was racially motivated and forfeit the right to appeal a federal sentence, the AP reported.

Arbery’s parents had objected to the plea deal.

“I’m looking forward to the federal trial. I’m looking forward to the trial,” Arbery’s mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, said on Monday after the plea deals were rejected, WSBTV reported.

The three men were indicted by the federal government which alleged they violated Aubry’s civil rights and targeted him because he was Black.

Greg McMichael had also withdrawn his plea deal on Thursday, WSBTV reported. In a court filing, his attorneys said the plea agreement was “null and void.”

Travis McMichael had until Friday to decide if he was going to continue with his deal.

There was no deal in place for Bryan, WSBTV reported.

The McMichaels were armed when they chased Arbery down with their pickup truck when they saw him running past their home near Brunswick, Georgia in February 2020. Bryan followed in his own truck and recorded video of Travis McMichael shooting Arbery with a shotgun, the AP reported.

Jury selection will begin Monday in the federal trial against the three men.

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