Got a TV Licence?

You need one to watch live TV on any channel or device, and BBC programmes on iPlayer. It’s the law.

Find out more
I don’t have a TV Licence.

Live Reporting

Edited by Jessica Murphy

All times stated are UK

  1. Our live coverage has concluded

    Thanks for following our live coverage as a US jury delivered a verdict in the Ahmaud Arbery murder trial.

    You can follow updates to the story here.

    Travis McMichael, his father Greg McMichael and their neighbour William Bryan were found guilty by a mostly-white jury of killing the 25-year-old black jogger in 2020.

    Family had called Arbery's killing a "modern-day lynching". The case drew national attention after a video of the confrontation went viral.

    The verdict, which came after two days of deliberations, followed 13 days of trial arguments and testimony.

    Supporters outside the court chanted Arbery's name as the convicted men were led out of the court in shackles. No sentencing date has yet been set for the trio, who each face decades behind bars.

    Lawyers for the McMichaels say they plan to appeal the decision.

    Earlier, the BBC spoke with Arbery's sister, Jasmine. "Ahmaud was so much more than what happened that day," she said. You can watch the full interview below.

    Today's coverage was brought to you by Jessica Murphy, Ritu Prasad, Bernd Debusmann, Sam Cabral and Max Matza.

    Video content

    Video caption: Ahmaud Arbery: 'He was wonderful in every way'
  2. Key moments from today's verdict

    As we wind down our live coverage, here are some of this afternoon's big moments:

    • Travis McMichael was found guilty of all nine counts of murder, assault, and false imprisonment - while his father Gregory was found guilty of every count except malice murder
    • The third defendant, William Bryan, was found guilty on three counts of felony murder, one count of aggravated assault, one count of false imprisonment and one count of criminal attempt to commit a felony; Bryan had filmed the incident
    • The verdict was immediately celebrated by family members and civil rights activists outside the courthouse
    • Arbery’s father Marcus addressed the crowd and vowed to “keep fighting to make this place better for all human beings”.
    • Attorneys for the McMichaels say they will appeal the verdict, with one of them adding that it was “very, very sad” for the men to be found guilty as the men "honestly believe that what they were doing was the right thing to do"
    • Travis McMichael's attorney also thanked everyone who gathered at the courthouse to show support for the McMichaels or the Arbery family
    • Both President Joe Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris responded to the news: President Biden said that the verdict is proof that the justice system “is doing its job”, although he added that it “is not enough”; Harris echoed the sentiment
  3. Kamala Harris: US still has 'work to do'

    Image caption: File photo of Harris

    US Vice-President Kamala Harris says that the Arbery murder trial verdicts "send an important message", but the country still has “work to do” in the wake of the verdict in the Arbery case.

    In a statement, Harris, who is the nation's first black and Asian-American vice-president, said "we still feel the weight of grief".

    “Ahmaud Arbery should be alive, and nothing can take away the pain that his mother Wanda Cooper-Jones, his father Marcus Arbery and the entire Arbery family and community feel today,” she said.

    “I share that pain.”

    She also criticised the defence team for their tone "that cast the attendance of ministers at the trial as intimidation and dehumanised a young black man with racist tropes".

    “Ahmaud Arbery was a son. He was a brother. He was a friend. His life had meaning,” the vice-president added. "We honour him best by continuing the fight for justice."

  4. State Attorney General says verdict brings 'healing and reconciliation'

    Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr says he believes that the death of Ahmaud Arbery "should have never occurred".

    In a statement on Wednesday, Carr said that “today’s verdict brings us one step closer to justice, healing and reconciliation for Ahmaud’s family, the community, the state and the nation".

    In May 2020 – three months after Arbery’s death – Carr formally requested that the Georgia Bureau of Investigation look into the conduct of prosecutors in the case.

    One of the prosecutors, Jackie Johnson, now faces charges that she violated her oath of office and that she hindered and obstructed a law enforcement officer.

    Carr has said the state is committed to "a complete and transparent review" of the case's handling.

  5. How did Ahmaud Arbery die?

    Ahmaud Arbery

    Ahmaud Arbery was out for an afternoon jog in Brunswick, Georgia on 23 February 2020.

    Gregory McMichael, a neighbourhood resident, told police he believed Arbery resembled the suspect in a series of local break-ins.

    Police have said no reports were filed regarding these alleged break-ins.

    McMichael and his son Travis armed themselves with a pistol and a shotgun and pursued Arbery in a pickup truck through the neighbourhood.

    William Bryan later joined the pursuit. The 25-year-old Arbery was unarmed.

    The younger McMichael testified during the trial that he tried to talk to Arbery while the two were still in their truck and Arbery never responded. He got out of the truck and fired his shotgun at Arbery during a struggle.

    Travis McMichael claimed self-defence saying Arbery grabbed at his gun. Three shots were fired. A post-mortem examination showed Arbery had two gunshot wounds in his chest, and a gunshot graze wound on the inside of one of his wrists.

  6. In pictures: The moments after the verdict

    Wanda Cooper-Jones cries in the courtroom
    Image caption: Tears stream down the face of Wanda Cooper-Jones, Ahmaud Arbery's mother, as the jury delivers guilty verdicts against her son's killers
    Marcus Arbery (centre) hugs family attorney Ben Crump as the jury verdict is delivered
    Image caption: Marcus Arbery (centre) hugs family attorney Ben Crump as the jury verdict is delivered
    Members of Arbery's extended family react outside the courtroom
    Image caption: Members of Arbery's extended family react outside the courtroom
    Wanda Cooper-Jones, Al Sharpton and Marcus Arbery walk together
    Image caption: Civil rights leader Al Sharpton (centre) walks hand in hand with Arbery's parents - Wanda Cooper-Jones and Marcus Arbery - after the verdict
    Travis McMichael looks back at family after a jury found him guilty on all nine counts, including murder and false imprisonment
    Image caption: Travis McMichael looks back at family after a jury found him guilty on all nine counts, including murder and false imprisonment
    Supporters react to the verdict outside the Glynn County courthouse
    Image caption: Supporters react to the verdict outside the Glynn County courthouse
    Attorney Laura Hogue, right, hugs Greg McMichael's wife Leigh McMichael, center, and his daughter Lindsey McMichael
    Image caption: Attorney Laura Hogue (right) hugs Greg McMichael's wife Leigh McMichael (centre) and his daughter Lindsey McMichael
  7. Black faith leader: 'A complicated day in America'

    Reverend William Barber

    Reverend William Barber led an interfaith religious prayer in Glynn County this morning ahead of the verdict.

    A familiar figure at civil rights protests, Barber told CNN that today is "a good and powerful day for justice" but it was "sad and ridiculous that we even had to have a trial".

    "It's a complicated day in America."

    He called not for "exuberance" but an examination of how something like this could have happened in the first place.

    "Three vicious killers... killing an unarmed black man, for running in the wrong place," he points out.

    Barber also questioned whether a jury would have returned a guilty verdict without the video evidence.

    He credited Arbery's mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, for continuing to push for justice and accountability for her son's murder.

    "When many of us weren't there. she fought a lot of this by herself and kept pushing."

  8. Faith leaders and the civil rights movement

    Martin Luther King Jr was a Baptist preacher
    Image caption: Martin Luther King Jr was a Baptist preacher

    During the trial, black faith leaders from across the country flocked to the Arbery family’s side, in response to what they deemed a "21st-century lynching".

    Religious leaders have long played a central role in black America’s civil rights struggle.

    Martin Luther King Jr, a Baptist minister, led the Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1955, shortly after the arrest of Rosa Parks, an African-American woman who refused to give up her seat to a white passenger.

    Two years later, King and other black ministers formed the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

    “Freedom Songs” derived from black gospel choir hymns imbued the spirit of the movement.

    At rallies around the courtroom, leaders like Martin Luther King III - the iconic preacher’s oldest living child - echoed decades-old calls to stand in solidarity and prayer.

    “Dad used to say, 'injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,'" King III recalled.

  9. What has changed in Georgia since Ahmaud Arbery's death?

    Neighbours set up memorials to Ahmaud Arbery in the area

    The McMichaels and William Bryan were armed when they pursued Ahmaud Arbery and cornered him with their pickup trucks.

    They told police they suspected the jogger was linked to recent neighbourhood burglaries, so they wanted to make a "citizen's arrest".

    The citizen's arrest law dated back to the American Civil War era and was established in 1863.

    It allowed an individual to detain someone they had seen committing a serious crime and if the suspect was trying to escape.

    The state law was repealed last May in the wake of the Arbery murder.

    Campaigners said the law was used to round up escaped slaves.

    The Arbery incident also shone a spotlight on the fact that Georgia was one of only four states at the time with no hate crime statutes.

    Hate crime legislation has since been passed into law. A separate federal hate crimes trial against the three defendants is soon set to begin.

  10. Watch: The moment the jury read the verdict

    Travis and Gregory McMichael and William Bryan stood silently as the jury read their verdict.

    All three declined to address the court afterward.

    Watch the moment below.

    Video content

    Video caption: The moment guilty verdicts read in black jogger murder trial
  11. Defendants still face federal hate crimes trial in February

    All three defendants are still facing a federal hate crimes trial after being indicted by a grand jury on 28 April.

    In the federal case, Travis and Gregory McMichael and William Bryan each face one count of interference with rights and one count of attempted kidnapping.

    Additionally, the McMichaels were also each charged with one count of using, carrying and brandishing – and in Travis McMichael’s case, shooting – a firearm during a crime.

    The eight-page indictment accuses the men of targeting Arbery because of his "race and colour".

    Jury selection in the federal trial has been scheduled for 7 February.

    Following a meeting with civil rights activists in April, US Attorney General Merrick Garland said that the Department of Justice "would once again deploy all of its considerable resources to ensure, in the words of [Martin Luther] King, ‘justice for all people’".

  12. Former prosecutor faces federal charges for mishandling Arbery case

    A former prosecutor is still facing federal charges for allegedly mishandling the Arbery case and shielding the defendants from prosecution.

    Then-district attorney Jackie Johnson stands charged of violatingher oath of office and obstructing and hindering a law enforcement officer.

    The September indictment from the Georgia Attorney General’s office claims Johnson “knowingly and wilfully” hindering the arrest of Travis McMichael.

    It also alleges that Johnson showed “favour and affection” to Gregory McMichael, who was a former employee of the district attorney’s office.

    She has denied any wrongdoing.

    She recused herself from the case because of her connection with the elder McMichael.

    It was 74 days after Arbery’s death that the defendants were arrested.

    The prosecutor who replaced Johnson, George Barnhill, eventually recused himself amid widespread public backlash after it was revealed that his son worked in her office with Gregory McMichael.

    He had also advised police against arrests following the shooting, arguing that Arbery had been “burglarising” and was being following in ‘hot pursuit’.

  13. McMichaels will appeal, lawyers say

    Jason Sheffield, a lawyer for Travis McMichael, tells reporters outside the court that this is a "very very sad verdict" for the men and their defense lawyers.

    The two McMichaels are men who "honestly think they believe that what they were doing was the right thing to do," says Sheffield.

    "However the Glynn County jury has found them guilty and they will be sentenced."

    "He was very stoic" as the verdict was being read, lawyer Robert Rubin says of Greg McMichaels, adding that he was standing beside him as he heard his verdict.

    "No single case is a referendum on the criminal justice system in America," adds Mr Rubin, who says the lawyers "welcome" the racial justice conversation the case has sparked.

    They add that they plan to appeal and praised the family of Arbery, the judge and jury.

    Earlier today, Kevin Gough, a lawyer for William Bryan, told the New York Times: “While we disagree with the verdict, we must respect it.”

  14. Black activists and politicians react

    Leading black activists and public figures are hailing the jury verdict in Georgia as a sign of progress and change.

    A tweet from the Black Lives Matter organisation hailed the result: "May this victory inspire the continued struggle for black freedom."

    Oscar-winning actress Viola Davis said the guilty verdict was "as it should be". Georgia's black Senator Raphael Warnock and voting rights activist Stacey Abrams also expressed gratitude.

    And the Martin Luther King Jr Center echoed the words of the famous preacher: "... until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream".

    View more on twitter
    View more on twitter
    View more on twitter
    View more on twitter
    View more on twitter
  15. Key moments from the trial

    The trial over the killing of Ahmaud Arbery lasted 13 days before the jury began deliberating yesterday.

    Here are the key moments:

    Video content

    Video caption: Ahmaud Arbery: Key moments in the trial over black jogger's killing
  16. A painful racial legacy lives on in Georgia

    Chelsea Bailey

    Digital producer, BBC News

    Ahmaud Arbery's mother and sister

    When it comes to understanding the killing of Ahmaud Arbery, it is as important to consider where this tragedy happened as it is to consider how it happened.

    There are still visible totems of slavery that can be seen throughout Glynn County, Georgia, whether it’s the streets named after former slave owners, or idyllic neighbourhoods still proudly called plantations.

    Arbery’s family can trace their lineage back to some of the first slaves brought to this part of coastal Georgia. And it was that realisation that compelled local lawyer, Jim Barger, to speak out after Arbery was killed.

    Barger said a lot of white locals have “sequestered this incident into one encounter” and feel like it won't happen again.

    “But it will happen again,” he said. “Accountability, I think is first, truth. Admitting what happened here and that it's part of a continuum of racial violence, that was meant to scare (black) people.

    “If we can admit that, then we can start to overcome and create a society where we all feel safe.”

  17. President Biden: 'Lets keep doing the hard work of racial justice'

    President Joe Biden

    The White House has just released a statement from President Joe Biden in response to the verdict in Georgia.

    "Ahmaud Arbery’s killing – witnessed by the world on video – is a devastating reminder of how far we have to go in the fight for racial justice in this country," he wrote.

    "Mr Arbery should be here today, celebrating the holidays with his mother, Wanda Cooper Jones, and his father, Marcus Arbery."

    "Nothing can bring Mr Arbery back to his family and to his community, but the verdict ensures that those who committed this horrible crime will be punished," he continued.

    He credited the verdict as proof of the justice system "doing its job" but says "that alone is not enough", calling on Americans to recommit "to building a future of unity and shared strength, where no one fears violence because of the colour of their skin".

  18. What’s next for the defendants?

    Travis McMichael attends the jury selection in his trial

    After being found guilty of multiple counts of murder, the judge must now set a sentencing date for Travis and Gregory McMichael and William Bryan.

    Travis McMichael was found guilty of all nine counts, while Gregory was found guilty of all the charges with the exception of malice murder.

    William Bryan, for his part, was found guilty on three counts of felony murder, as well as one count of aggravated assault, one count of false imprisonment, and one count of criminal attempt to commit a felony.

    Felony and malice murder charges alone are punishable by death or life imprisonment with or without the possibility of parole. Prosecutors in the case are not seeking the death penalty.

    The judge will now determine whether the defendant’s life sentences have the possibility of parole.

    The other charges carry a range of punishments, ranging from one to five years in prison for criminal contempt to commit a felony to 20 years for aggravated assault.

    Additionally, all three men now face a federal hate crimes trial after being charged on 28 April. They are expected to stand trial in February.

  19. Georgia governor calls for 'healing and reconciliation'

    Brian Kemp

    Georgia's Republican Governor Brian Kemp has just released this statement on the jury's verdict.

    "Ahmaud Arbery was the victim of a vigilantism that has no place in Georgia," he says.

    He adds that "legal efforts continue to hold accountable all who may be responsible" for Arbery's death.

    "We hope the Arbery family, the Brunswick community, our state, and those around the nation who have been following this case can now move forward down a path of healing and reconciliation."

  20. Arbery's dad: 'We conquered that lynch mob'

    Marcus Arbery (centre)
    Image caption: Marcus Arbery (centre)

    Marcus Arbery, the father of Ahmaud Arbery, is now speaking outside the court.

    "We conquered that lynch mob," he shouts into microphones.

    "I wouldn't want to see no daddy see their kid get lynched down and shot like that," he says. Earlier today he was evicted from the courtroom after cheering when the guilty verdict was read.

    "Let's keep doing," he tells activists outside the Georgia courthouse. "And let's keep fighting to make this place better for all human beings."

    "Love everybody," Mr Arbery continues. "All human beings need to be treated equally."

    "Today is a good day," he concludes.