BRUNSWICK, Ga. — The wife and mother of two of the three men convicted of murdering Ahmaud Arbery has started a fundraiser for legal fees for an appeal to the state case's verdict.
Leigh McMichael wrote on Give Send Go, a Christian crowdfunding site, "Greg McMichael & Travis McMichael spent many years giving back to the community they live in and in return they have been unfairly convicted of charges that do not accurately fit the incident that occurred."
She goes on to say that the jurors in the state trial were intimidated by the gatherings outside the courthouse and had concerns about serving on a high-profile case. Leigh McMichael said there were several items that couldn't be used during the state trial that made it difficult for the defense to prove their case.
She said her family has "exhausted all means with the original trial and need to begin the appeals process. It will be a very long and costly process to go through the appellate court system."
So far, the fundraiser has raised $18,195. The McMichaels, along with their former neighbor, William "Roddie" Bryan, were convicted of federal hate crimes last week. Attorneys for all three men said they planned to file appeals.
Bryan's fiancé set up similar fundraisers on two different sites at the end of last year. Both were shut down by the crowdfunding sites.
The three men were all sentenced to life in prison in January for the murder charges. The judge has not yet set a sentencing date for the federal case.