Judge Timothy Walmsley said at the hearing in Glynn County Court in Brunswick that he gave the McMichaels the harshest sentence open to him in part because of their "callous" words and actions captured on video.
"It was a chilling, truly disturbing scene," the judge said of the frame in a cellphone video of the killing where McMichael begins to lift his shotgun at Arbery while the 25-year-old is about 20 feet away. He said Arbery was "hunted down and shot and he was killed because individuals here in this courtroom took the law into their own hands."
Earlier, Arbery's anguished relatives had addressed the court to argue that racial stereotyping led to the killing of the 25-year-old avid jogger. Defense lawyers pleaded leniency, saying none of the three men ever intended for Arbery to be killed.