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Suspect in murder of Ahmaud Arbery now at the center of sex crime investigation, GBI says

2020-07-22

The suspect accused of recording and helping his neighbors attack Ahmaud Arbery, an unarmed Black man out for a run at the time, is now at the center of sex crime investigation.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation in a statement on Friday they were contacted earlier this week to “initiate a sex crimes” probe against William “Roddie” Bryan, Jr.

“The investigation is active and ongoing,” the statement reads.

The GBI later said the alleged crimes happened in Camden County, Ga., did not provide additional details about the nature of the allegations raised against Bryan, NBC News reported.

Earlier on Friday, Bryan entered a not guilty plea to one count of felony murder and attempt to illegally confine or detain. The father and son also charged, Gregory and Travis McMichael, also pleaded not guilty to the charges brought against them in Arbery’s death.

A prosecutor mentioned the GBI sex-crimes probe in passing during Bryan’s bail hearing late Friday afternoon, but his defense lawyer did not address the investigation in court, 11 Alive reported.

They were indicted in June on nine felony charges, including one count of malice murder, four counts felony murder, two counts aggravated assault, one count false imprisonment and one count criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment.

Arbery was out for a run in Glynn County on Feb. 23 when he was attacked by Gregory and Travis McMichael, who armed themselves ahead of the chase. The elder McMichael initially told authorities he suspected the young runner was a wanted burglar and that he attacked Travis before he was fatally shot.

No arrests were made in the case until months later, sparking national outrage that was only fueled by video of the incident, which went viral on May 5.