Official: Investigation of Arbery slaying finished soon

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Malik Muhammad, center, joins a group of people marching from the Glynn County Courthouse in downtown to a police station after a rally to protest the shooting of Ahmaud Arbery, Saturday, May 16, 2020, in Brunswick, Ga. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton)

SAVANNAH, Ga. – Georgia's state investigation into the fatal shooting of Ahmaud Arbery should be finished soon, the official in charge of the inquiry said Friday while the prosecutor who will try the case in court pledged to “make sure that we find justice” for a broken family and community.

Georgia Bureau of Investigation Director Vic Reynolds told a news conference that he anticipates his agency will wrap up its investigation in a “relatively short period of time.” The announcement followed the arrest Thursday of a third suspect — the man whose cellphone video of Arbery's shooting stirred a national outcry.

“At this point, we feel confident the individuals who needed to be charged have been charged,” Reynolds said at GBI headquarters in Decatur.

William “Roddie” Bryan Jr., 50, was arrested Thursday on charges of felony murder and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment. Bryan's neighbors, Gregory and Travis McMichael, were arrested on felony murder and aggravated assault charges after the video spread on social media, more than two months after the slaying.

Appearing alongside Reynolds on Friday was Cobb County District Attorney Joyette Holmes, making her first public comments since she was appointed on May 11 to take over prosecution of the case.

“We are going to make sure that we find justice in this case. We know that we have a broken family and a broken community down in Brunswick,” said Holmes, who is based in metro Atlanta.

Asked how Bryan could be charged with murder if he didn't pull the trigger on the weapon used to kill, Reynolds referred to Bryan's arrest warrant, which says he tried “to confine and detain" Arbery without legal authority by “utilizing his vehicle on multiple occasions” before Arbery was shot.

Bryan's attorney, Kevin Gough, has said his client played no role in Arbery's death, asserting that “Roddie Bryan is not now, and has never been, more than a witness to the shooting.”