Sentencing Hearing in Arbery Case


Wolf: Let’s discuss what’s going on with Criminal Defense Attorney Page Pate. He’s also in Brunswick, Georgia this morning for us. Page, thanks very much for joining us. Tell us what you expect from today’s sentencing. Will these men spend the rest of their lives in prison?

Page: Well, Wolf, in Georgia, it is really up to the judge to decide if someone who has been convicted of either malice murder or felony murder receives a life sentence with the possibility of parole or a life sentence without the possibility of parole. I think there is a very good chance that the judge sentences Travis McMichael because he was the man who actually shot Ahmaud Arbery, to life without the possibility of parole. But I expect we may see the other two defendants get a life sentence with the possibility of parole. But it is important to note that, that’s just a possibility. The judge does not give them parole, does not guarantee that they will get parole. That will ultimately be up to a parole board decades down the road.

Wolf: Yeah, 30 years. He might be eligible for parole after serving 30 years. Look at this, Travis McMichael who actually did the shooting is 35 years old. Gregory McMichael, his father, is 66 years old. And William “Roddie” Bryan is 52 years old. Could age be taken into consideration during today’s sentencing?

Page: It certainly could. I mean, the judge can recognize that even a life sentence with the possibility of parole could be an effective life sentence, especially for Greg McMichaels, the older of the three defendants. But I think at the end of the day, a judge is gonna impose a sentence based on the severity of the crime, which here is, obviously, very severe, and the relative roles of each of these defendants. And that’s where I think Travis McMichael is probably the most likely to receive a life without the possibility of parole.

Wolf: Do you think we’ll hear from the defendants, actually, today? Do you think they’re gonna give us some sort of statement?

Page: Well, that’s a great question. I mean, obviously, there are two things that might have their lawyers suggest that they not make a statement. Number one is, this case will be appealed to the Georgia Supreme Court right after the sentences are imposed. And secondly, there is this federal trial that’s gonna take place next month, right here in Brunswick. And so anything these guys say in court could later be used against them. And so, while they may simply say they accept the verdict of the jury, they regret what happened, I doubt you’re gonna hear anything more substantial than that from any of these defendants.

Wolf: We’ll have live coverage coming up in the next hour of that hearing. Page Pate, thank you very, very much. Still ahead…


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