William Bryan Jr., the man who recorded the horrific video of Ahmaud Arbery being shot to death in broad daylight while he was out jogging, has been charged with murder, the Georgia Bureau of Investigations announced on Thursday (May 21).
Bryan, 50, was charged with felony murder and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment. He is currently being held in Glynn County Jail.
Bryan’s exact role in Arbery’s murder is not yet clear, but there has been speculation that he used his car to block Arbery from escaping after the men who killed him — Gregory McMichael and his son Travis McMichael — pulled up alongside him as he jogged and began harassing him.
The McMichaels were arrested and charged with murder on May 7, 73 days after Arbery was killed on February 23. No arrests were pursued until a video of his death went viral.
S. Lee Merritt, one of the attorneys representing Arbery’s family, spoke about Bryan to CNN’s Don Lemon earlier this week. “We are going to continue to push for the arrest of William Bryan for recording and participating in the ambush of Ahmaud Arbery,” Merritt said.
Following Bryan’s arrest, Merritt, along with the family’s other attorneys Benjamin Crump and L. Chris Stewart, issued a statement. “The family of Ahmaud Arbery was relieved to learn that the Georgia Bureau of Investigation has today taken William “Roddie” Bryan into custody,” the statement reads. “We want anyone who participated in the murder of Mr. Arbery to be held accountable.”
Bryan’s attorney Kevin Gough spoke to reporters on Monday, issuing a public plea for sympathy on behalf of his client. “Mr. Bryan is not your enemy,” Gough said. “Please stop, if not for the sake of my client’s family, then for the sake of the Arbery family and the cause you fight for. Killing off the star witness for the prosecution will not help bring Ahmaud’s killers to justice.”