Gregory McMichael, 65; his son, Travis McMichael, 35; and William "Roddie" Bryan, 51, were each charged with one count of interference with rights and with one count of attempted kidnapping, according to a Justice Department statement.
Catch up quick:"All three defendants have also been charged in a separate state proceeding with malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, false imprisonment, and criminal attempt to commit a felony", the DOj noted. Count One also alleges that the offense resulted in Arbery's death.
A third man, William "Roddie" Bryan junior, reportedly joined the McMichaels in the chase.
It also accused Brunswick Judicial Circuit District Attorney Jackie Johnson of taking part in a "cover up" because she allegedly knew Gregory McMichael for years when he was her investigator.
Bryan recorded the chase on his cellphone, which captured Arbery getting ambushed by the McMichaels.
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The indictment accuses the three men of interfering with Arbery's rights "because of Arbery's race and color".
"In addition to the hate-crime charges, Count Three alleges that all three defendants attempted to unlawfully seize and confine Arbery by chasing after him in their trucks in an attempt to restrain him, restrict his free movement, corral and detain him against his will, and prevent his escape".
In this May 17, 2020, photo, a painted mural of Ahmaud Arbery is on display in Brunswick, Ga., where the 25-year-old man was shot and killed in February.
Ben Crump, one of the attorneys representing Arbery's family, said the indictment was "another step in the right direction". They say Travis McMichael shot Arbery while fearing for his life as they grappled over a shotgun. When a video capturing the confrontation was leaked and posted online that May, sparking widespread outrage, the case investigation sped up.
Gregory McMichael's attorneys, Frank and Laura Hogue, did not immediately respond Wednesday to an email seeking comment and Bryan's attorney, Kevin Gough, said he had no immediate comment because he had not read the federal indictment.
"Mr. Bryan said that after the shooting took place before police arrival, while Mr. Arbery was on the ground, that he heard Travis McMichael make the statement, 'f--ing n--er, '" GBI agent Richard Dial testified.