SAVANNAH, Ga. – The Georgia man whose cellphone video of Ahmaud Arbery's fatal shooting helped reignite the case was charged with murder Thursday, making him the third person arrested more than two months after the slaying.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation said 50-year-old William “Roddie” Bryan Jr. was arrested on charges of felony murder and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment. No other details were given. The GBI said in a statement that it would hold a news conference this morning.
Arbery was slain Feb. 23 when a white father and son armed themselves and pursued him after spotting the 25-year-old black man running in their neighborhood. More than two months passed before authorities arrested Gregory McMichael, 64, and his son, Travis McMichael, 34, on charges of felony murder and aggravated assault. Gregory McMichael told police he suspected Arbery was a burglar and that Arbery attacked his son before being shot.
Bryan lives in the same subdivision just outside the port city of Brunswick, and the video he took from the cab of his vehicle helped stir a national outcry when it leaked online May 5.
The video quickly drew a strong reaction from Georgia Gov. Bryan Kemp, a Republican who called it “absolutely horrific.”
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation soon took over the case from local police, and the arrests of the McMichaels followed May 7.
Under Georgia law, a person can be charged with felony murder for committing any felony that causes the death of someone else. It does not require intent to kill and carries an automatic life sentence.