A third person was arrested on Thursday in connection to the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old unarmed Black man who was senselessly slain while jogging in a Brunswick, Georgia neighborhood on February 23.
William “Roddie” Bryan Jr., 50, will face charges of felony murder and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment, CNN reports
Bryan’s 36-second video of Arbery’s murder was released on May 5, two months after Arbery was shot and killed. Bryan’s lawyer, Kevin Gough, stated that his client was not involved in the incident, claiming he was an innocent bystander working in his yard when he noticed an unidentified man being pursued in the neighborhood. Gough also claims Bryan is the star witness for the prosecution.
Bryan was arrested two weeks after the arrest of Gregory and Travis McMichaels on May 7, the father-son duo captured antagonizing Arbery before taking his life.
However, Gregory McMichael’s statement in the initial police report is what prompted Georgia Bureau of Investigators (GBI) to focus on Bryan as a suspect. McMichael told investigators that Bryan tried to help him and his son stop Arbery prior to the shooting. The McMichaels maintain a false narrative which says they were seeking to end a string of burglaries in the neighborhood and felt that Arbery fit the description of the suspect.
“The initial police report described his role in it,” S. Lee Merritt, Arbery’s family attorney said. “The idea that he was just a witness, recording the video — that’s a recent invention. His role in this ambush was well documented in the original police report and is demonstrated by video.”
It is a maddening development after Bryan appeared on CNN in a May 11 interview where it seemed he sided with Arbery’s family.
“I hope that it, in the end, brings justice to the family and peace to the family,” he said.
Arbery’s attorney’s said they were pleased with the new development. “We called for his arrest from the very beginning of this process,” the family’s attorneys Merritt, Benjamin Crump, and L. Chris Stewart, said.