Greg McMichael and his son Travis, both convicted in the murder of Ahmaud Arbery, have reversed their planned guilty pleas to a federal hate crime and will stand trial starting Monday for a second time, reports the Associated Press. Prosecutors and defense attorneys had agreed to a 30-year sentence if the McMichaels admitted that the murder had racist motives. The plea deal was opposed by Arbery's family and U.S. District Judge Lisa Godbey Wood, who rejected it. Wood warned Greg McMichael that she could not guarantee a sentence if he chose to plead guilty.
The McMichaels were in a group of three white men who chased and killed Black jogger Ahmaud Arbery in February 2020. Their defense team argued that they had reason to believe Arbery had been committing crimes in the area and were making a "citizens arrest". The men were sentenced to life in prison by a Georgia state court last fall and are now indicted on federal charges of violating Arbery's civil rights and targeting him because he is black.