BRUNSWICK, Ga. (AP) — A federal judge has rejected a plea agreement that would have averted a hate crimes trial for the man convicted of murdering Ahmaud Arbery.
Arbery’s parents had denounced the proposed deal for Travis McMichael, and the judge proceeded with plans to summon potential jurors next week.
Arbery’s mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, asked the judge to reject the deal and described the U.S. Justice Department’s decision to propose it as “disrespectful.”
Proposed plea agreements for father and son Greg and Travis McMichael were filed with the court late Sunday.
The McMichaels were found guilty after they armed themselves and chased the Black jogger in a pickup truck after spotting him running in their coastal Georgia neighborhood.
There was no mention of a plea deal for William "Roddie" Bryan, who joined the chase and recorded cellphone video of Travis McMichael fatally shooting Arbery.
All three were sentenced to life for murder in state court.