The attorney representing the family of Ahmaud Arbery says the US Department of Justice approached them with a federal plea deal for the three men convicted of killing the 25-year-old.
“Earlier this week the Department of Justice approached Wanda Cooper-Jones and her family and asked whether or not they would consider a plea deal where these men would be sentenced to 30 years in federal prison," attorney S. Lee Merritt said ahead of state sentencing hearing Friday (January 7).
"She rejected that offer because we believe that today the state will move forward with life sentences without the possibility of parole, and we think that’s the appropriate sentence," Merritt added.
"I think that the federal charges are just as important as the state charges and I think that they need to stand trial for those charges as well," Cooper-Jones said.
Georgia state law requires a life sentence for the murder convictions handed down to Gregory McMichael, Travis McMichael, and William "Roddie" Bryan. A judge will make the determination if they will receive the possibility of parole for the state charges.
The federal hate crime trial is set to begin later this year.
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