Georgia investigators arrested a third man Thursday in connection to the murder of Ahmaud Arbery. William “Roddie” Bryan Jr. was charged with felony murder and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) announced Thursday. Bryan was booked into Glynn County Jail.
Gregory McMichael and his son Travis McMichael were previously charged with murder and aggravated assault in the February slaying of Arbery, who was shot twice and killed while jogging in Brunswick, Georgia.
During his jog, Arbery was confronted by the McMichaels, who were carrying guns and believed Arbery was involved in recent burglaries in the area, even though neither alleged incident had been reported to police. No charges were filed and Arbery’s death remained out of the mainstream until April, when cellphone video footage of the Arbery shooting began to circulate; Bryan is credited with recording the video.
In addition to filming the murder, Bryan is accused of blocking Arbery’s escape when the McMichaels were pursuing Arbery in a pickup truck. After Arbery eluded Bryan’s vehicle, both Bryan and the McMichaels pursued Arbery, leading to a confrontation and ultimately his murder.
“The family of Ahmaud Arbery was relieved to learn that the Georgia Bureau of Investigation has taken William ‘Roddie’ Bryan into custody,” lawyers for Arbery’s family said in a statement said in a statement. “We called for his arrest from the very beginning of this process. His involvement in the murder of Mr. Arbery was obvious to us, to many around the country and after their thorough investigation it was clear to the GBI as well.”
Following the release of the cellphone footage, Brady said he received death threats for his alleged role in the slaying. “I had nothing to do with it. I’m trying to get my life back to normal, and it’s been smeared for the last week,” Bryan previously told WJAX (via CBS News). “I was told I was a witness and I’m not sure what I am, other than receiving a bunch of threats.”
“My client was responding to what he saw, which was someone in the community he didn’t know being followed by a vehicle he recognized,” Bryan’s attorney added. “Without going into details about the level of crime in this community in this subdivision, I think most people in this subdivision were aware that there were issues.”