Ahead of the sentencing of the three men convicted of murdering Ahmaud Arbery, his mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, says she doesn’t “want to hear anything” from the defendants.
“I really don’t want to hear anything from Travis. I really don’t want to hear anything from either defendants. There’s nothing that they can tell me today that would make me feel better. I miss Ahmaud more and more each day,” she told CNN.
Her attorney S. Lee Merritt said the Department of Justice approached Cooper-Jones and her family earlier this week and asked if they would consider a plea deal where the convicts would be sentenced to 30 years in federal prison, and she rejected it.
“We believe that today the state will move forward with life sentences without the possibility of parole. And we think that’s the appropriate sentence,” he said.
Travis McMichael, 35, his father, Gregory McMichael, 66, and neighbor William “Roddie” Bryan, 52, who chased and murdered Arbery, will be sentenced today in a Georgia courthouse.
“Ahmaud didn’t get a chance to live. So with that being said, Travis should not get a chance to live as a free man. Travis should go to prison for life without parole and … he should remain in prison forever,” Cooper-Jones added.
As she heard Travis McMichael testify during the trial, Cooper-Jones said it made her feel worse, and added that after seeing graphic photos of her murdered son, her days have been hard. She added she has looked forward to today, when the defendants are sentenced.
Going forward, Cooper-Jones says she is proud of the change that Arbery implemented.
“My family and I have started a foundation. The name is called The Ahmaud Arbery Foundation,” she said. “The citizen’s arrest law as well was passed in Georgia. Since we lost Ahmaud, we’ve got change already. So I’m very proud of that as well.”
Live updates: Ahmaud Arbery’s convicted killers Gregory McMichael, Travis McMichael and William “Roddie” Bryan Jr. to be sentenced