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Judge holds moment of silence before sentencing 3 men convicted of killing Ahmaud Arbery

Judge Wamsley began by calling Arbery's murder a "tragedy on many levels."

GLYNN COUNTY, Ga. — Before Judge Timothy Wamsley sentenced the three men convicted of murdering Ahmaud Arbery, he took a few moments to reflect on the trial itself.

Judge Wamsley began by calling Arbery's murder a "tragedy on many levels."

"Almost two years ago, a resident of Glynn County, a graduate of Brunswick High, a son, a brother, a young man with dreams was gunned down in this community," he continued. "He left his home, apparently to go for a run and he ended up running for his life."

Arbery, 25, was jogging in a south Georgia neighborhood near Brunswick in Glynn County on Feb. 23, 2020, when he was chased, shot and killed.

The judge recalled the timeline of the case, and the span of minutes in which William "Roddie" Bryan, Travis McMichael and Gregory McMichael decided to chase Arbery and eventually take his life, adding: "The three men now before this court chased him in a residential neighborhood for at least five minutes in pickup trucks, armed with a shotgun and a 357 revolver."

It was at that moment Wamsley paused and stated that he wanted to focus on the time period of the case pointed out by the prosecution. He said he wanted to put that period of time into context.

So he did it with silence. 

The courtroom sat for exactly one minute, focusing on nothing but the weight and length of each of those 60 seconds. 

Wamsley mentioned that one minute would represent "a fraction of the time that Ahmaud Arbery was running in Satilla Shores." The interaction between Arbery and the three men was closer to five minutes, the judge said.

"When I thought about this, I thought about it from a lot of different angles," Judge Wamsley said. "And, I kept coming back to the terror that must have been in the mind of the young man running."

Finally, the judge expressed gratitude to the jury, who he stated had a difficult job under the circumstances.

Travis McMichael and Greg McMichael were each sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, plus 20 years. Meanwhile, William "Roddie" Bryan was sentenced to life in prison with parole.

A jury found all of them guilty on most of the 29 charges they faced the day before Thanksgiving.