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Three men convicted of murder for chasing, shooting black man

BRUNSWICK, GEORGIA :  Three white men were convicted of murder on Wednesday for chasing and shooting black jogger Ahmaud Arbery as he ran through their neighbourhood, with a Georgia jury rejecting a self-defence claim in a trial that once again probed America's divisive issues of race and guns.

The verdicts were delivered by the jury of one Black man and 11 white men and women on its second day of deliberations after about a two-week trial of Gregory McMichael, 65, his son Travis McMichael, 35, and their neighbour William "Roddie" Bryan, 52, in the coastal city of Brunswick.

The case hinged on whether the defendants under a now-repealed Georgia law permitting citizen arrests had a right to confront the unarmed 25-year-old, an avid jogger, last year on a hunch he was fleeing a crime.

Defence lawyers also argued self-defence centred upon a contested claim by Travis McMichael, who fired the fatal shots, that Arbery moments earlier had grabbed the pump-action shotgun that was used to kill him.

All three defendants were convicted of murder, aggravated assault, false imprisonment and criminal intent to commit a felony. They face a minimum sentence of life in prison with the possibility of parole. Defence lawyers said they will appeal. - REUTERS

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