Decatur – The Atlanta area prosecutor in charge of the investigation into the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery first spoke about the case on Friday, promising that “justice will be done” for the family and the community.
The director of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI), Vic Reynolds, appeared next to the county attorney, Cobb Joyette Holmes, saying that “at the moment we are confident that the individuals who had to be charged have been charged.”
His press conference at GBI headquarters in Decatur followed the arrest on Thursday of William “Roddie” Bryan Jr. on murder charges and a criminal attempt to commit illegal detention.
William Bryan Jr., the man who took video of the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery, was arrested on felony murder charges: https://t.co/OwsIVvDkQa pic.twitter.com/A8BOfObeLi
– USA TODAY (@USATODAY) May 22, 2020
Bryan, 50, is the man whose video of Arbery’s shooting death caused outrage across the country. Gregory and Travis McMichael were arrested on charges of murder and aggravated assault after the video was released on social media more than two months after the murder.
“We are going to make sure that we find justice in this case. We know we have a bereaved family and a bereaved community, “said Holmes.
Asked how Bryan could be charged with murder if he didn’t pull the trigger, Reynolds referred to the arrest warrant, which says Bryan tried to “confine and detain” Arbery without legal authority “using his vehicle multiple times” before Arbery was shot.
Bryan’s attorney, Kevin Gough, has said that his client had no role in Arbery’s death, stating that “Roddie Bryan is not and never was anything other than a witness” to the incident.
But the GBI director said on Friday that “if we thought he was a witness we would not have arrested him.”
Under Georgia law, a person can be charged with murder if a crime they commit results in death, even if that was not the intention. A guilty verdict carries a minimum sentence of life in prison.
Reynolds said the investigation into the Arbery murder is ongoing, but that he hopes his investigators will conclude soon and turn the case over to the prosecution.