ATLANTA – The wife and mother of two of Ahmaud Arbery’s killers said she does not believe that her husband, Greg McMichael, and son, Travis McMichael, intended to kill Arbery on Feb. 23, 2020.
The McMichaels grabbed guns and chased Arbery in a pickup truck after spotting him running through their Satilla Shores subdivision. Neighbor, William “Roddy” Bryan, joined and recorded the video of Travis McMichael opening fire as Arbery threw punches and grabbed his shotgun, according to WSB-TV.
No one was charged in the killing until Bryan’s video leaked, and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation took over the case from local police. All three men were charged with murder and other offenses.
In the end, Travis McMichael was found guilty on all counts, including malice murder and felony murder. Greg McMichael and Bryan were found guilty of felony murder and other charges.
WSB-TV covered this case from beginning to end. Throughout the trial, Leigh McMichael sat in the courtroom, silent.
“Everybody jumped on the bandwagon that it was a white supremacist shooting a known Black jogger and that’s not quite true,” Leigh McMichael told the newspaper. “So, why do I want to put us out there for you to just destroy us more?”
Greg and Travis McMichael were also found guilty of federal hate crime charges. Both men received another life sentence. Leigh McMichael said her family has been labeled racist and says that’s not who they are.
“We are labeled for the rest of our lives. We are labeled. And we are not those people. We are not those people,” Leigh McMichael said.
On her website, Leigh McMichael blames the media for making her family out to be something she says they’re not.
“My personal experience since this story went viral tells me that it would be futile to spend time and energy trying to persuade those with a closed mindset that the public narrative driven by the mainstream media is at a minimum incomplete and at most a downright fabrication. This media-driven narrative of the ‘innocent jogger’ is the driving force behind the reason my husband and son are sentenced to die in a Georgia prison,” she wrote.
Leigh McMichael called her husband and son “kind, decent and honest men who were simply trying to help our neighborhood.”
Greg and Travis have both filed appeals in the case. Leigh McMichael said on her website that the cost of those appeals had been about $250,000.
Read more about this interview from the Savannah Morning News here.