When deciding their verdict, the jurors in the trial in the killing of Ahmaud Arbery had to weigh two different types of murder charges – malice murder and felony murder.
Travis McMichael was found guilty of malice murder while the other defendants, Gregory McMichael and William “Roddie” Bryan Jr., were convicted on four and three of the counts of felony murder, respectively.
The difference between the charges has to do with intent, Elie Honig, CNN senior legal analyst, said.
Malice murder means that the jury determined that Travis McMichael intended to kill Ahmaud Arbery, and he did, Honig said. Travis McMichael was the person who shot Arbery. Gregory McMichael and William “Roddie” Bryan Jr.’s felony murder convictions means that they intentionally committed the felony.
“The chasing him with the truck, false imprisonment – and as a result of that, whether they intended it or not, Ahmaud Arbery was killed and that makes the father and Roddie Bryan guilty of murder as well,” Hoing explained.
For context: Despite the different murder convictions, all three of the men could face possible life sentences.