McMichaels, Bryan indicted on murder, assault charges

The official indictment reads that the McMichaels and Bryan "did unlawfully, with malice aforethought, cause the death of Aumaud Arbery, a human being, by unlawfully chasing him through the public roadways of the Satilla Shores neighborhood in pickup trucks and shooting him with a shotgun".

A bill newly passed by the Georgia legislature allowing for stiffer sentences when a victim is shown to have been targeted because of race is not retroactive and can not be applied in the Arbery case, Merritt said. A lawyer for Mr Bryan has maintained that his client was merely a witness. Gregory and Travis McMichael were arrested in early May for the death.

It wasn't until May 7 - two days after Bryan's cellphone video leaked online and stirred a national outcry - that prosecutors charged the McMichaels.

Holmes was appointed to lead the case after multiple other prosecutors recused themselves due to personal ties to the defendants.

A charge of malice murder for all three men likely means the grand jury believes all of them showed an "abandoned and malignant heart" in carrying out a killing, according to the Georgia state Code. Each man is facing nine charges which include malice murder and felony murder.

Bryan was being held in the Glynn County Detention Center without bond.

Father and son Greg and Travis McMichael and their neighbor William Bryan were charged last month with felony murder in the case, in which the 25-year-old was followed while jogging in his Brunswick, Georgia neighborhood, and confronted by the McMicahels before a physical altercation began, ending with Travis McMichael shooting Arbery dead.

There has always been some question as to when a grand jury could meet to hear this case because of Georgia's judicial emergency order.

Bob Rubin, an attorney for Travis McMichael, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the DA only presented one side of the case to the grand jury. Greg McMichael told police he suspected Arbery was a burglar and that Arbery attacked his son before being shot. By now, we've all seen the crime's disturbing video, so the facts here are not in doubt: He was unarmed and innocent and the victim of a hate crime.

"We welcome the action of the grand jury today", Gough said.

Lawyers for Greg McMichael could not immediately be reached for comment.

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