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Arbery's mom says she always knew family would get 'victory'

Arbery’s parents and some supporters joined hands as they out of the Glynn County Courthouse after learning the sentences of her son’s convicted killers.

BRUNSWICK, Ga. — It was a day she said she prayed for. 

Ahmaud Arbery’s mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones thanked the community Friday for supporting her family through a long fought journey that started nearly two years ago. Her son was murdered in the Satilla Shores neighborhood in Feb. 2020 and the men accused of her son’s death didn’t stand trial until last year. 

Travis McMichael, Greg McMichael, and William “Roddie” Bryan were convicted in November for murdering the 25-year-old after prosecutors argued he was jogging in the neighborhood when he was gunned down.

“My prayer was to get justice for Ahmaud," Arbery's mother said.

“When I entered the courtroom on Oct. 18, I sat in that courtroom for five weeks straight, but I knew that we would come out with the victory,” she added. “I never doubted it and I knew that today would come.”

That day, for her, came Friday, Jan. 7. 

Arbery’s parents and supporters joined hands as they walked out of the Glynn County Courthouse after learning the sentences of her son’s convicted killers. Travis McMichael, the man who pulled the trigger, and his father, Greg McMichael, were given life without the possibility of parole plus 20 years. The judge sentenced Bryan to life with a chance of parole.

Credit: AP
Ahmaud Arbery's mother Wanda Cooper-Jones, center, walks out of the Glynn County Courthouse surrounded by supporters after a judge sentenced Greg McMichael, his son, Travis McMichael, and a neighbor, William "Roddie" Bryan to life in prison, Friday, Jan. 7, 2022, in Brunswick, Ga. The three white men who chased and killed Ahmaud Arbery were sentenced Friday to life in prison, with a judge denying any chance of parole for the father and son who armed themselves and initiated the deadly permute of the 25-year-old Black man. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton)

RELATED: Judge issues emotional final statement before sentencing men convicted of murdering Ahmaud Arbery

“Ahmaud, rest in peace because mama and daddy got the word for you,” Arbery’s father, Marcus Arbery said.

Others who spoke after the sentencing were attorneys Ben Crump and Lee Merritt. They were also joined outside the courthouse with Atlanta’s New Birth Missionary Baptist Pastor Jamal Bryant.

Merritt said this outcome started with a phone call from Cooper-Jones who pushed for justice for her son. 

"The city of Brunswick thought that I would have to fight this fight alone. So they chose to ignore me because they thought they would have to face me alone. But they didn't know that I had you guys to stand with me," Cooper-Jones said. " I want to say, thank you. Thank you for standing with me. Thank you for standing with my family and I."