William Roddie Bryan, the man who recorded the last moments of Ahmaud Arbery’s life, has been arrested for murder.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation arrested Bryan, 50, on Thursday, May 21, according to a press release. He was charged with felony murder and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment. He was booked into the Glynn County Jail.
The Arbery family’s legal team released a statement praising the “diligence” of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
“The family of Ahmaud Arbery was relieved to learn that the Georgia Bureau of Investigation has today taken William ‘Roddie’ Bryan into custody,” said attorneys S. Lee Merritt, Benjamin Crump and L. Chris Stewart, according to WJAX-TV.
“We called for his arrest from the very beginning of this process. His involvement in the murder of Mr. Arbery was obvious to us, too many around the country and after their thorough investigation, it was clear to the GBI as well.”
Arbery died on Feb. 23 after being shot by a shotgun owned by Travis McMichael. An autopsy reportedly showed that Arbery was shot two times in the chest and once in the hand. On May 7, the GBI arrested Travis McMichael and his father Gregory McMichael and charged them with murder and aggravated assault. Arbery encountered the duo while he was jogging through their Satilla Shores neighborhood in Brunswick, Georgia. The McMichaels claimed they approached him because they believed he was responsible for a string of robberies and wanted to perform a citizen’s arrest.
Gregory McMichael told the police Bryan was trying to help him and his son apprehend Arbery.
A police report from the Glynn County Police Department notes that McMichael “stated the unidentified male turned around and began running back the direction from which he came and ‘Roddy’ attempted to block him which was unsuccessful.”
On May 13, Bryan insisted he was not involved in the shooting.
“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 told WJAX-TV. “I was told I was a witness and I’m not sure what I am, other than receiving a bunch of threats.”
Kevin Gough, Bryan’s lawyer, has consistently professed his client’s innocence.
“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,” he said during the same interview. “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.”
In another interview with CNN, Gough claimed his client had no connection to the McMichael family.