William “Roddie” Bryan Jr. was charged with felony murder and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment

By Benjamin VanHoose
May 22, 2020 12:24 PM
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William "Roddie" Bryan Jr.

The man who recorded video of the fatal shooting of Ahmaud Arbery has been arrested.

On Thursday, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation announced that William “Roddie” Bryan Jr., 50, was charged with felony murder and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment. He was booked into the Glynn County Jail.

Bryan captured the video that went viral earlier this month when it resurfaced, restoring attention to the case of Arbery, who was shot to death after being chased by two white men while jogging on Feb. 23 in Brunswick, Georgia.

Father and son Gregory and Travis McMichael were both arrested for allegedly chasing and shooting Arbery, 25, who was unarmed at the time. Both Gregory, 64, and Travis, 34, were charged with murder and aggravated assault.

Arbery's manner of death was ruled a homicide by the GBI, according to a copy of the autopsy report obtained by PEOPLE last week.

He was shot three times and "died of multiple shotgun wounds sustained during a struggle for the shotgun," the autopsy report said. The report also revealed that Arbery had sustained two close-range gunshot wounds in the chest, as well as a graze wound on his right wrist.

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The Arbery family's attorney, S. Lee Merritt, appeared on ABC News on Thursday to discuss the arrest, saying that Arbery's loved ones are "extremely relieved" by the development.

Bryan's lawyer, Kevin Gough, said in a press conference on Monday that he took a lie detector test and also claimed that Bryan was not armed during the time and had not made contact with either of the McMichaels before the killing.

"Without Mr. Bryan, there would be no video. Without that video, there would be no case. He is a key witness," said Gough on Monday, adding, "Take the target off his back."

RELATED VIDEO: Ahmaud Arbery Was Shot 3 Times, Twice in the Chest, Autopsy Report Reveals

Arbery's mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, told Good Morning America earlier this month that she may never watch the gruesome footage, which shows two men struggling and three gunshots can be heard. As Arbery tries to run from the men, he falls, lifeless, onto the street.

"I don't think I'll ever be in a mental state where I can actually watch the video," Cooper-Jones said. "I had others watch and share what they saw, and that was enough."