ATLANTA - The Georgia Bureau of Investigation said late Thursday afternoon that a third arrest was made in connection to the death of Ahmaud Arbery.
William “Roddie” Bryan Jr., 50, was charged Thursday with felony murder and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment. He was booked into the Glynn County jail.
William Roderick Bryan is now facing charges in the death of Ahmaud Arbery (Glynn County Detention Center).
Earlier this week, civil rights attorney Ben Crump called on law enforcement to arrest Bryan after he said a media reenactment done by the New York Times proved William Roddy Bryan hunted Ahmaud Arbery down for four minutes before the deadly shooting. The media reenactment was based on 911 calls, all videos that have been released, and statements made by those involved and on the scene February 23.
“William ‘Roddy’ Bryan claimed that he was not involved in the murder of Ahmaud Arbery, but this new video clearly shows that he hunted Ahmaud for more than four minutes prior to his death. While he may not have pulled the trigger, he was clearly complicit, using his vehicle to stalk, threaten and trap Ahmaud for execution,” attorney Crump concluded.
Bryan lives in the neighborhood but said he had nothing to do with the murder that has stirred national attention on the City of Brunswick.
Attorneys S. Lee Merritt, Benjamin Crump and L. Chris Stewart, who represent Arbery’s mother and father released the following statement Thursday in response to the latest arrested:
"The family of Ahmaud Arbery was relieved to learn that the Georgia Bureau of Investigation has today taken William 'Roddie' Bryan into custody.
“We called for his arrest from the very beginning of this process. His involvement in the murder of Mr. Arbery was obvious to us, to [sic] many around the country and after their thorough investigation, it was clear to the GBI as well.
The family of Mr. Arbery is thankful for the diligence of the GBI and they [sic] way in which they tirelessly pursued the evidence in this case.
“We want anyone who participated in the murder of Mr. Arbery to be held accountable."
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Arbery, 25, was shot and killed on February 23, 2020, after being pursued by armed men through the suburban neighborhood where he lived outside Brunswick. Gregory McMichael, 64, and Travis McMichael, 34, were arrested by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and charged with the alleged murder of Arbery on May 7.
Ahmaud Arbery, 25, was shot and killed while out jogging in a south Georgia neighborhood on Feb. 23, 2020.
Within the last week, defense attorneys for the McMichaels cautioned against rushing to judgment. They said they soon plan to seek a preliminary hearing from a magistrate judge in Glynn County at which new details might be revealed. They also plan to ask that the McMichaels be released from jail on bond pending trial. That decision will now fall to Walmsley.
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Superior Court Judge Timothy R. Walmsley will handle the case. Judge Walmsley is based in Savannah, about 70 miles north of where the killing took place. Judge Walmsley was appointed to the case after all five judges in the local circuit recused themselves, possibly in part because the older McMichael is a retired investigator for the District Attorney's Office.
District Attorney Joyette Holmes of the Cobb County District Attorney’s Office was appointed as the special prosecutor in the case.