Ahmaud Arbery: Three convicted in black jogger’s murder. Petito family: others may face charges in daughter’s slaying. Ethiopia: civil war headed to capital.
Arbery case: Three found guilty for murder of black jogger
After only a day of deliberation, a nearly all-white jury have returned guilty verdicts against 3 white men on trial for murdering black jogger Ahmaud Arbery, 25, last February. The jury found, Travis McMichael, 35, who fired the shots that killed Arbery, guilty on all counts, including malice murder. His father Gregory McMichael, 64 and their neighbor William “Roddie” Bryan, 50, were also found guilty of felony murder and other charges.
The younger McMichael faces a potential life sentence. His father may receive a lesser sentence but will likely spend the rest of his life in prison. Bryan, who filmed the incident, may face a lesser sentence of 10 years or so for his role. All three men will also face federal hate crime charges in a separate trial in February.
The case has been controversial from the start. Police only arrested Bryan and the McMichaels after a public outcry when graphic video of the incident went viral. The defense team also stoked tensions by demanding “black pastors” be banned from the courtroom. Then on Monday, during closing arguments, one of the defense attorneys denigrated Arbery by describing him as having “long dirty toenails”.
Gabby Petito’s family say others may face charges in daughter’s slaying
Yesterday, a forensic pathologist’s report concluded that Brian Laundrie, the sole suspect in the killing of his girlfriend Gabby Petito, took his own life with a gunshot to the head. Petito was found strangled to death in Grand Tetons Park in Wyoming. By the time her body was located, her boyfriend Brian Laundrie had returned to his home in Florida. He had disappeared just days before Petito’s body was discovered. Police found Laundrie’s remains a month later in the swampy wilderness of the Carlton Reserve near his home.
Today, an attorney representing Petito’s family hinted that prosecutors are considering bringing charges against “other individuals” in Petito’s murder and disappearance. It’s not clear what individuals the attorney was alluding to. However, during the manhunt for Laundrie, his parents Chris and Roberta Laundrie came under heavy press scrutiny.
Alarm in Ethiopia as civil war comes to capital
Recent efforts to find a diplomatic resolution to Ethiopia’s year-long civil war have suffered a setback as one of the factions seems poised to bring the fight to the capital, Addis Ababa. The Tigray People’s Liberation Front say that they are advancing on the city of over 3 million people.
The international community has expressed alarm with developments on the ground. Several countries have urged their citizens to flee the country immediately. The UN has also ordered an evacuation of staff and their families.
The fighting between the TPLF and central government forces has been bitter and deadly. Soldiers from both sides have committed war atrocities against non-combatants including mass murder, torture and rape. Civilians have borne a heavy cost with over 2 million displaced. A definitive body count is all but impossible to calculate.
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