Explainer: What are the charges in Ahmaud Arbery's killing?

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ATLANTA — Jurors in the trial of the three men charged in the killing of Ahmaud Arbery must decide whether one or all of them is guilty of murder — a conviction that could send them to prison for the rest of their lives. Father and son Greg and Travis
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ATLANTA — Jurors in the trial of the three men charged in the killing of Ahmaud Arbery must decide whether one or all of them is guilty of murder — a conviction that could send them to prison for the rest of their lives.

Father and son Greg and Travis McMichael grabbed guns and pursued Arbery in a pickup truck after seeing the 25-year-old Black man running in their neighborhood in the Georgia port city of Brunswick in February 2020. Neighbor William "Roddie" Bryan recorded cellphone video as he joined the pursuit. All three defendants are white.

A nine-count indictment charges all three with one count of malice murder, four counts of felony murder, two counts of aggravated assault, one count of false imprisonment and one count of criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment.

What's the difference between malice murder and felony murder?

Unlike many states, Georgia doesn't have degrees of murder, but instead has malice murder and felony murder. Neither requires prosecutors to prove an intent to kill.

Malice murder is when a person "unlawfully and with malice aforethought, either express or implied, causes the death of another human being." No evidence of premeditation is required.

Express malice involves an intent to kill. Implied malice is when the there is "no considerable provocation" and the circumstances of the killing "show an abandoned and malignant heart," which essentially means the person has acted with extreme recklessness even if there was no intent to kill, said Georgia State University law professor Russell Covey.

Felony murder applies when someone who has no plans to kill intentionally…
Associated Press
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