BRUNSWICK, Ga. - Nearly two years to the day 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery was fatally shot while running through a neighborhood in Brunswick, Georgia, the three men who chased him were convicted of hate crimes.
The guilty verdicts in the seven-day trial come months after Travis McMichael, Gregory McMichael and William "Roddie" Bryan were convicted of murder.
The verdicts, however, are likely not to be the last chapter in the saga that may unfold in courtrooms for years to come.
On the courthouse steps, Wanda Cooper-Jones indicated her son can "rest in power," after the three men involved in his death stood trial. She said the family's fight, however, is far from over.
"We've come a long way, but we're not done," she said.
Can McMichaels, Bryan appeal verdicts?
For the federal case, Judge Lisa Godbey Wood gave the McMichaels and Bryan two weeks to file an appeal of the verdict.
A date for the sentencing hearing has not been set, but the charges carry a maximum of life in prison.
As for criminal charges, defendants' attorneys previously indicated that they planned to file appeals. In the criminal trial, the McMichaels were sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole while Bryan was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole.
University of Georgia law professor emeritus Ron Carlson said one likely basis for appeal could be the exclusion of certain evidence from the trial. Defense attorneys had sought to introduce evidence of Arbery’s criminal record, records on his mental health and the fact that he was on probation. They also wanted to have a use-of-force expert testify. But the judge ruled against admitting any of that evidence.
"They’ll argue that relevant evidence helpful to the defense was excluded by the trial judge and that was an error," Carlson said.
It’s also possible that appellate attorneys could find other grounds for appeal after scouring transcripts and jury instructions and speaking with jurors.
Lawsuit against ex-district attorney, law enforcement
Attorney's for Ahmaud Arbery's mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, are suing Glynn County law enforcement officials and former Glynn County District Attorney Jackie Johnson for an alleged cover-up in her son's death.
The lawsuit claims police deputized Gregory McMichael, formerly employed by the police department, to respond to neighborhood trespasses. The lawsuit also stated the court declined to meaningfully investigate the circumstances of Arbery's murder. The complaint accused Johnson of attempting to block McMichael from being arrested in the wake of Arbery's death.
Attorney's for Ahmaud Arbery's family said they're continuing to push the civil case forward. A stay paused the civil suit from progressing until the criminal proceedings against the McMichaels and Bryan were resolved.
"We're going to continue to make sure the course is tracked, that everybody who was responsible for the lynching of Ahmaud Arbery and the aftermath — the cover-up, the conspiracy — they will be held accountable," attorney Ben Crump said.
The lawsuit also names former Glynn County Police Chief Jim Powell, officer Robert Rash, 10 unnamed police officers and Ware County District Attorney George Barnhill.
Charges against ex-Glynn County District Attorney Jackie Johnson
The former top prosecutor in Glynn County also faces criminal charges.
Johnson was released on her own recognizance without bond.
(Glynn County Sheriff's Office)
She's accused of violating her oath of office and obstructing police and using her office to shield the 25-year-old Black man’s killers from prosecution.
"Wanda (Arbery's mother) and Marcus (Arbery's father) believe Jackie Johnson was part of that cover-up," Crump said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.