Factbox: The charges in the Ahmaud Arbery case

Nov 22 (Reuters) - Ahmaud Arbery was shot and killed while, prosecutors say, the 25-year-old Black man was on a Sunday run in a mostly white neighborhood near coastal Brunswick, Georgia, on Feb. 23, 2020.

Gregory McMichael, 65; his son Travis McMichael, 35, who shot Arbery with a shotgun; and neighbor William "Roddie" Bryan, 52, have pleaded not guilty to nine charges, including murder.

They told police they thought Arbery was running from a crime and they wanted to make a citizen's arrest. Arbery's family and their supporters say he was targeted because he was Black.

All three men are charged with the same nine counts: one count of malice murder, four counts of felony murder, two counts of aggravated assault, one count of false imprisonment and one count of criminal intent to commit a felony.

Malice murder (one count each)

Malice murder is when a person unlawfully and with malice aforethought causes the death of another person. The decision to commit malice murder can come in a spilt second or be planned long before.

A malice murder conviction carries a sentence of life in prison with the possibility of parole, life imprisonment without the possibility of parole or the death penalty. In this case, the prosecution is not seeking the death penalty.

Felony murder (four counts each)

Felony murder occurs when someone commits a serious or inherently dangerous felony and someone else dies during the crime, even if that murder wasn't planned.

The classic example is when two people rob a bank and a teller is shot dead. Even if only one person actually shot the teller, all those involved in the crime, even if unarmed, are considered equally guilty.

It is punished in Georgia by either life in prison with parole or without parole or the death penalty.

Aggravated assault (two counts each)

Aggravated assault in Georgia is defined as being an assault with the intent to commit another crime such as murder, robbery or rape and a weapon is used. It can be punished by one year in prison to a maximum of 20 years for each count.

False imprisonment (one count each)

A person commits the offense of false imprisonment when he or she violates the personal liberty of another, illegally arrests, confines, or detains such person without legal authority. False imprisonment is punished by one to 10 years in prison.

Criminal attempt to commit a felony (one count each)

It is a substantial effort to commit a specific felony crime. It is punished by one year in prison or up to half of the maximum period of time for which he or she could have been sentenced if the crime was successful.

Reporting by Rich McKay in Atlanta; editing by Jonathan Oatis

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