Georgia deputy suspended for allegedly saying Arbery 'still got the death penalty'

The prosecution plays a video the jury asked to see as part of their deliberation during the trial of Greg McMichel and his son, Travis McMichael, and a neighbor, William "Roddie" Bryan in the Glynn County Courthouse on November 24, 2021 in Brunswick, Georgia. Greg McMichael, his son Travis McMichael, and a neighbor, William "Roddie" Bryan are charged with the February, 2020 fatal shooting of 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery. (Photo by Stephen B. Morton-Pool/Getty Images)
The prosecution plays a video the jury asked to see as part of their deliberation during the trial of Greg McMichel and his son, Travis McMichael, and a neighbor, William "Roddie" Bryan in the Glynn County Courthouse on November 24, 2021 in Brunswick, Georgia. Greg McMichael, his son Travis McMichael, and a neighbor, William "Roddie" Bryan are charged with the February, 2020 fatal shooting of 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery. (Photo by Stephen B. Morton-Pool/Getty Images) Photo credit Getty Images

A Facebook comment about the murder of Ahmuad Arbery may soon cost a deputy in Houston County, Ga., his job.

According to a letter from the Houston County Sheriff’s Office provided by WGXA News, deputy Paul Urhahn was suspended without pay from his position Jan. 10, pending termination.

He made a comment on a WGXA social media post about Arbery, a 25-year-old Black man who was killed while out for a jog in broad daylight.

“That criminal arbery still got the death penalty though,” read a comment on the station’s post regarding the sentencing for three white men who were convicted of murdering Arbery in November, according to the Associated Press. Though the comment has since been removed, screenshots were provided to the sheriff’s office.

Travis McMichael, Greg McMichael and William “Roddy” Bryan, all white, were found guilty by a jury, convicted and then sentenced to life in prison Jan. 7 for the murder of Arbery, who was shot dead in Glynn County, Ga. – around a three-mile drive from Houston County – nearly two years ago.

In a murder trial, the three defendants claimed they thought he was a “burglary suspect,” and that they were making a citizen’s arrest. They plan to appeal the sentencing decision.

Eli Porter, an activist with the Poor and Minority Justice Association, told WGXA he thinks the comment was “disgusting.”

“That deputy represents that entire department, and for him to say something like that I'm just... it got under my skin,” Porter said.

According to Sheriff Cullen Talton, Urhahn violated multiple policies, including a requirement to conduct himself in a manner which does not bring discredit to the department or county. Urhahn was allowed to appeal the decision within 10 days or be terminated as of Jan. 20.