'My son died and so should they': Ahmaud Arbery's mother says she wants Georgia prosecutors to pursue the death penalty against her son's killers if they're found guilty of murder

The mother of Ahmaud Arbrey, a 25-year-old African-American shot dead by two white men while he was reportedly out jogging, says she hopes her son's killers will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
Wanda Cooper-Jones told TMZ that she hopes prosecutors seek the death penalty against Gregory McMichael, 64, and his son Travis McMichael, 34, who were charged with murder after a video of them pursuing Arbery in a pick up truck and then shooting him dead in a Brunswick, Georgia street in February surfaced online last week.
'I would like all hands involved, that played a part in my son's murder to be prosecuted to the highest [degree],' Cooper-Jones said Tuesday. 'Coming from a mother's point of view: my son died, and so they should die as well.'
When pressed on whether she'd be opposed to a death penalty sentence, the grief-stricken mother reiterated she'd 'totally agree with that.'
Wanda Cooper-Jones (right with Arbery) told TMZ that she hopes prosecutors seek the death penalty against Gregory McMichael, 64, and his son Travis McMichael, 34,
Wanda Cooper-Jones (right with Arbery) told TMZ that she hopes prosecutors seek the death penalty against Gregory McMichael, 64, and his son Travis McMichael, 34,
Gregory and Travis McMichael  have both been charged with murder and aggravated assault over the February 23 shooting of Ahmaud Arbery. Gregory McMichael is pictured in his mugshot
Travis McMichael is pictured in his mugshot following his arrest on Thursday
Gregory (left) and Travis McMichael (right) have both been charged with murder and aggravated assault over the February 23 shooting of Ahmaud Arbery
Arbery's death has sparked nationwide outrage. A rally for the slain jogger was held Friday - the day he would have celebrated his 26th birthday
Arbery's death has sparked nationwide outrage. A rally for the slain jogger was held Friday - the day he would have celebrated his 26th birthday 
On Monday, the Georgia attorney general appointed Joyette M. Holmes, Cobb County's first African-American district attorney, to oversee Arbery's case.       

The appointment of Holmes was welcomed by Cooper-Jones, who said she has spoken to the prosecutor and has full faith in her abilities to obtain justice for her slain son.
'I think with the counsel I have and also the newly assigned DA [Holmes], I think we will get justice for Ahmaud,' Cooper-Jones said.
She added that Holmes too said she was confident her son's killers would be convicted.  
Following her appointment on Monday, Holmes became the fourth prosecutor to take the case, superseding Tom Durden, who reportedly requested to be replaced by a prosecutor with a larger staff citing the case's growth 'in size and magnitude.' 
'District Attorney Holmes is a respected attorney with experience, both as a lawyer and a judge,' state Attorney General Chris Carr, a Republican, said in a statement. 'And the Cobb County District Attorney's office has the resources, personnel and experience to lead this prosecution and ensure justice is done.' 
Holmes served four years a magistrate judge in suburban Cobb County before Gov. Brian Kemp appointed her to fill the vacant district attorney's position last July. According to the Georgia Prosecuting Attorneys Council, Holmes is one of only seven black district attorneys in the state.
The prosecutor, Joyette M. Holmes, is from Cobb County in the Atlanta metropolitan area, where she is the first African-American to serve as district attorney
The prosecutor, Joyette M. Holmes, is from Cobb County in the Atlanta metropolitan area, where she is the first African-American to serve as district attorney
Exclusive photos show the moment Gregory McMichael (pictured) and his son Travis McMichael were arrested at their home in Brunswick, Georgia, on Thursday
Exclusive photos show the moment Gregory McMichael (pictured) and his son Travis McMichael were arrested at their home in Brunswick, Georgia, on Thursday
An officer with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation is seen leading 34-year-old Travis McMichael out of the home in handcuffs
An officer with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation is seen leading 34-year-old Travis McMichael out of the home in handcuffs
An attorney for Arbery's father, Marcus Arbery, also applauded the appointment of a new lead prosecutor.
'In order for justice to be carried out both effectively and appropriately in the murder of Ahmaud Arbery, it is imperative that the special prosecutor has no affiliation with the Southeast Georgia legal or law enforcement communities,' attorney Benjamin Crump said in a statement. He asked that Holmes 'be zealous in her search for justice.'
Arbery was hit by three shotgun blasts, according to an autopsy report released Monday by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. One shot grazed his right wrist, and the other two struck him in the chest. 
The 25-year-old had no drugs or alcohol in his system, and was carrying two tan bandannas which were soaked with blood.
It has taken nearly three months and several different prosecutors for Travis and Gregory McMichael to be arrested and charged with his killing. Georgia's Attorney General is now investigating the handling of the case amid claims that prosecutors passed it off to protect 64-year-old Gregory, a former police detective who recently worked in the local district attorney's office. 

The case was first assigned to Jackie Johnson in the Brunswick Judicial Circuit, who recused herself because Gregory McMichael was previously an investigator in her office. It was then handed to George E. Barnhill, district attorney for Georgia’s Waycross Judicial Circuit, who recused himself under pressure from Arbery’s mother amid claims Barnhill’s son used to work with Gregory McMichael in the Brunswick district attorney’s office.
Durden then took over the reins, and said last week he planned to present the investigation to a grand jury before a video of the incident leaked and the GBI was assigned to the case. The McMichaels weren't arrested until after the video became public.
The case has sparked outrage around the world and some say it is proof of persistent racism in the South. Over the weekend, people ran to honor what would have been Ahmaud's 26th birthday and armed protesters took to the street. 
The McMichaels' defense has been that they were making a citizen's arrest after suspecting Ahmaud of breaking into and robbing homes in their neighborhood. They said Travis, 34, then exercised his stand your ground right by shooting Ahmaud, claiming the unarmed 25-year-old reached for his gun. 
Ahmaud Arbery inside the under-construction home on February 23, the day he was killed. He walked into the house then left empty handed and was later shot dead by Travis McMichael who had chased him with his father, Gregory, a former cop
Ahmaud Arbery inside the under-construction home on February 23, the day he was killed. He walked into the house then left empty handed and was later shot dead by Travis McMichael who had chased him with his father, Gregory, a former cop 
Ahmaud had been out jogging when he came across the home. His family says the footage shows he was not a burglar and that he would have been guilty of trespassing at most
Ahmaud had been out jogging when he came across the home. His family says the footage shows he was not a burglar and that he would have been guilty of trespassing at most
Another video shows Ahmaud entering the property. It was taken on a surveillance camera on a different home
Another video shows Ahmaud entering the property. It was taken on a surveillance camera on a different home 
On Monday, DoJ spokeswoman Kerri Kupec said: 'The Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, the FBI, and the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia have been supporting and will continue fully to support and participate in the state investigation. We are assessing all of the evidence to determine whether federal hate crimes charges are appropriate,' Kupec said in a statement.' 
The McMichaels have both been charged by the state of Georgia with murder and aggravated assault which carry maximum prison sentences of life. 
Georgia has no hate crimes as a state but the federal charge carries a maximum prison sentence of life when the hate crime results in death. A federal prosecution would supersede a state case and could negate it if the defendants were found guilty and the need for a state prosecution reduced.  
It comes as new surveillance video Arbery walking into a construction site on the day of his death, looking around the property and then leaving empty handed the day he was gunned down emerged.   
But the new video obtained by News4Jax appears to undermine their shaky burglary suspect claim. It shows Ahmaud walking into an under-construction house in Brunswick, looking around and then leaving without taking anything. 
In the two months before Ahmaud's killing, there were no reports of suspected burglaries in the area, and the owner of the under-construction property has spoken out to say they have no links to the McMichaels whatsoever.   
The video was shared by the property owner who said they had never had any contact with the McMichaels let alone did they call for them to investigate any break-ins. 
The attorney representing Ahmaud's family says the video shows that at most, Ahmaud would have been guilty of trespassing. 
It's unclear what time the video on the construction site was taken. 
According to the police report into his death, Ahmaud was shot dead at 1.46pm. 
A time stamp on a different surveillance camera video says he entered the construction site at 2.13pm. It's possible that camera was inaccurately running an hour fast. 
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation says it is now investigating the video along with the cellphone footage of Ahmaud's killing that went viral.
The property is owned by Larry English.  
In the footage, a shot can be heard and the two can then be seen scuffling as Arbery looks to try to get the gun away from Travis
Two more shots can be heard and are fired at point-blank range before
In the sickening footage of Arbery's death, a shot can be heard and Arbery is seen scuffling with Travis as Arbery appears to try to get the gun away from Travis. Two more shots can be heard and are fired at point-blank range before
Ahmaud was killed while out jogging on February 23. It is unclear if he had come from his mother's house, which is just under two miles from where the shooting unfolded. The McMichaels said they saw him 'hauling a**' down Satilla Drive and that he'd been seen on surveillance cameras inside homes near them but it's unclear which homes they were referring to. He was shot and killed at an intersection not far from the houses
Ahmaud was killed while out jogging on February 23. It is unclear if he had come from his mother's house, which is just under two miles from where the shooting unfolded. The McMichaels said they saw him 'hauling a**' down Satilla Drive and that he'd been seen on surveillance cameras inside homes near them but it's unclear which homes they were referring to. He was shot and killed at an intersection not far from the houses 

Over the weekend, he released a statement through an attorney to say he neither called for the McMichaels to go after Ahmaud, nor did he condone in any way how they killed him.
'First, and most important, the English family -- the homeowners -- want Ahmaud Arbery's parents to know that they are very sorry for the loss of their son and they are praying for them.
'Second, it is crucial to understand that the English family -- the homeowners -- were not part of what the McMichaels did. 
'The first accounts suggested a link between the McMichaels and the homeowners, but there is none. 
'The English family had no relationship with the McMichaels and did not even know what had occurred until after Mr. Arbery's death was reported to them.
'After seeing Mr. Arbery's photo in news reports, Larry English did not even think Mr. Arbery was the person that appears in this video. 
'Even if it had been, however, Mr. English would never have sought a vigilante response, much less one resulting in a tragic death,' his attorney, Elizabeth Graddy, told First Coast News. 
Ahmaud's parents' lawyer confirmed that it is him in the video. 
'This video is consistent with the evidence already known to us. 
'Ahmaud Arbery was out for a jog. He stopped by a property under construction where he engaged in no illegal activity and remained for only a brief period.
'Ahmaud did not take anything from the construction site. He did not cause any damage to the property,' Lee Merritt said.  
Last week, after growing global outrage, the case was taken out of local prosecutors' hands to be investigated by the state. 
Gregory and Travis were both charged with murder and aggravated assault. 
Greg McMichael had investigated Arbery before when he worked as an investigator in the Brunswick DA's office. 
In a letter to Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr recusing himself from the case, Waycross Judicial Circuit District Attorney George Barnhill said that his own son and Gregory 'both helped with the previous prosecution of (Ahmaud) Arbery'.
Arbery had previously been sentenced to five years probation as a first offender on charges of carrying a weapon on campus and several counts of obstructing a law enforcement officer.
According to the The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, he was also convicted of probation violation in 2018 after he was charged with shoplifting.
Arbery had previously been sentenced to five years probation as a first offender on charges of carrying a weapon on campus and several counts of obstructing a law enforcement officer.
According to the The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, he was also convicted of probation violation in 2018 after he was charged with shoplifting.
Gregory, who retired from the DA's office in 2019, had not mentioned his involvement in the case to police. 
George E. Barnhill was the second DA to recuse himself in mid-April following pressure from Arbery's family. He claims he only learned of his son's link to the victim 'three or four weeks' ago. 
In his letter, Barnhill added that criminal charges against the McMichaels was unwarranted, citing the criminal history of Arbery's brother and cousin. 
'My son died and so should they': Ahmaud Arbery's mother says she wants Georgia prosecutors to pursue the death penalty against her son's killers if they're found guilty of murder 'My son died and so should they': Ahmaud Arbery's mother says she wants Georgia prosecutors to pursue the death penalty against her son's killers if they're found guilty of murder Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 05:37 Rating: 5

No comments:

Powered by Blogger.