Ahmaud Arbery's death was a cold-blooded murder -- this according to a jury ... who just decided on the issue definitively.
Travis and Gregory McMichael, as well as William 'Roddie' Bryan, were all just found guilty of murder and a slew of other charges.
All three defendants had been indicted on 9 counts each -- in addition to malice murder, the McMichaels and Bryan were also up against four counts of felony murder, two counts of aggravated assault, one count of false imprisonment and one count of criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment ... and now, they face life in prison come sentencing.
Gregory McMichael and Bryan were found not guilty on the charge of malice murder. Bryan was also found not guilty on one of the felony murder charges and a felony assault charge.
In attendance was Ahmaud's mom, Wanda, who was seated next to Rev. Al Sharpton.
The trial has been ongoing for a couple weeks now -- and the main defense -- for Travis McMichael, anyway, who shot and killed Ahmaud -- was that he was only acting in self-preservation ... with his defense attorneys arguing he feared for his life.
Travis claimed he didn't want to shoot Ahmaud, but felt he had to after they got into a scuffle on the road ... with TM alleging Ahmaud went for his gun, and he thought he'd use it.
As for the rest of them ... they all contended in court they were simply trying to make a citizen's arrest -- in the context that the McMichaels had previously been informally deputized to help out the local cops. Officers in the trial denied any such bestowment of duty.
In any case, it was a hard sell for the defendants from the beginning ... as prosecutors outlined what they described as a modern-day lynching of a Black man the defendants believed had committed a crime -- and then hopped into their vehicles to chase him down.
Prosecutors say Ahmaud was simply jogging through their neighborhood -- however, there was footage showing him stopping by a construction site and walking through. Because of this, the McMichaels say they approached Ahmaud to ask what he was doing there -- as there had been thefts at that same property in the weeks leading up to his arrival that day.
Before long, Ahmaud was off and running ... and the McMichaels gave chase in their truck, rounding up Bryan in the process, who trailed them and filmed the deadly moment on camera.
Despite the McMichaels' and Bryan's assertion they were just trying to rein Ahmaud in for questioning -- the jury felt they went too far, and crossed a line that cost him his life.
The entire trial has been marred with controversy from the start ... with 11 jurors being selected, all of whom were white -- save for one Black juror. People felt that would create a bias in favor of the defendants ... but, clearly, that didn't turn out to be the case.
Of course, there was also the issue of pastors in court -- or at least what one defense attorney argued was an issue, after Reverend Al Sharpton made an appearance in the gallery alongside the Arbery family.
The attorney suggested the mere presence of Black pastors could intimidate the jury -- but the judge shot him down ... as it was a ridiculous theory.
Now that their fates are sealed, sentencing comes next ... and considering the guilty verdict, many expect these men to serve out the rest of their lives behind bars. They'll appear before a judge in the near future.
As you might expect, the results are being hailed as justice ... not just by the Arberys, but by millions of people around the country. The Arbery killing was a flashpoint in 2020 -- one of several cases that led to a larger conversation about racial equity in the U.S.
G-Eazy is suffering heartbreak on the toughest level, announcing his mom has died, and sharing a beautiful tribute to her with his fans.
The rapper, real name Gerald Earl Gillum, says his mother Suzanne Olmsted passed away, saying, "The shock still won't let me accept the feeling that I'll never get to hug you in person again. My queen, my hero, my everything… my mom."
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He continues, "The tears won't stop. My eyes hurt, my face hurts, my body hurts, everywhere hurts. There's no safe place to hide and there's no way to lay, sit, or stand that doesn't hurt. The pain is enormous. But I know you're out of yours and that brings me peace.
I love you so much."
It's currently unclear how she died, but G-Eazy fans know what an important role she played in his personal life as well as his career ... often attending shows and even events with the rapper.
Then there's this, G-Eazy reveals his mom recently persuaded him to go to rehab for drugs and alcohol, writing, "I didn't realize the extent of just how worried you were about me until you sent me the hardest letter I've ever had to read… Going to treatment for alcohol and drugs was my decision but your letter was what ultimately persuaded me."
G-Eazy played at BottleRock Festival back in September and shared his mom was unable to attend, he did, however, call her on FaceTime during his set in a really awesome moment.
1:28 PM PT -- The Vikings say Griffen eventually came out of his residence without incident ... and "is now getting the care he needs."
9:23 AM PT -- A spokesperson for the Minnetrista Police Dept. says Griffen called 911 at around 3 AM ... claiming that "someone was inside his home and that he needed help from the police."
The spokesperson says Griffen also "told the 911 dispatcher that he fired a weapon but nobody was injured."
According to the police rep, when officers arrived on the scene, they did not find an intruder ... adding that Griffen has refused to come out of his residence.
The spokesperson says law enforcement and Vikings officials have been on the scene since 7 AM trying to "work with him to resolve the situation."
The Minnesota Vikings say they're concerned for the health of Everson Griffen ... after the defensive end posted a series of disturbing things on his social media page Wednesday -- including a video of him waving a gun.
Griffen sent out the scary posts overnight ... and in the terrifying video, which is roughly 30 seconds in length, the 33-year-old can be seen staring wide-eyed and speaking quickly with a firearm in his hand.
"Yo, yo, yo," Griffen can be heard saying. "I'm in my house. N*****s trying to pop me. I still got clips left. This is my gun."
Griffen also shared screenshots of a series of troubling text messages that he allegedly sent ... appearing to show him asking for help while saying, "People are trying to kill me."
The Vikings said in a statement Wednesday morning that they are aware of it all and are concerned ... adding that they have been in contact with Griffen.
"Vikings representatives and the team's mental health professionals have been on-site at Everson Griffen's home since early this morning and are cooperating with law enforcement," the team said.
"Our only concern at this time is the safety and well-being of Everson and his family. We will have further comment at the appropriate time."
Head coach Mike Zimmer, meanwhile, added that he's worried for Griffen as well -- and said he was not sure if his player was "safe."
"We're only concerned about his well-being," Zimmer said.
Griffen has battled mental health issues in the past ... including an incident in 2018, in which cops say he jumped out of an ambulance after he feared "someone was going to shoot him."
Originally Published -- 9:06 AM PT
Britney set social media on fire Tuesday when she announced, "I just shot a movie titled “THE IDOL“ … it’s guaranteed to have hits and a lot bright pics to put in my beautiful family’s faces !!!!!"
Spears' announcement came hours after it was announced The Weeknd's show "The Idol" was getting the green light from HBO and singer Troye Sivan had joined the cast.
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Of course, fans were quick to connect the two, believing Britney was signed on to the project as well, but sources with direct knowledge tell us it's just not the case.
Our Britney sources say she's not been asked to be a part of the HBO show, and her team is unsure as to what movie she's referring to in her caption. Britney's been very creative with her social media posts lately, so it's always possible she's producing a movie on her own at home.
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Britney also sent a message to her fans about the upcoming holiday season, saying, "I hope you guys are having a merry ole jolly time cause I sure am !!!!"
Britney's mom, Lynne, was seen arriving in L.A. earlier this week, we're told she plans to spend Thanksgiving with her son Brian who lives in the city. Our sources say there weren't any plans for Britney to join Lynne Thursday, but the invite remains open.
7:45 AM PT -- Stacy's bond was not increased Wednesday ... this despite Evans emotionally arguing that it should be.
Evans -- who appeared in the courtroom in a blue dress and grey sweater -- explained to a judge that she believed Stacy's bond should be raised and he should be placed on home confinement.
In her testimony, Evans said, "I am afraid for my safety and my children's safety."
Evans also said she's suffering "serious and likely permanent" injuries sustained in the attack ... and added that she has only been home a few times since the incident to briefly obtain items.
A judge, however, ruled Stacy's bond would not be increased ... saying his presence in the courtroom on such short notice made him comfortable with the current amount.
The judge, though, did order Stacy to stay out of the state of Florida -- except for when he's required to be there for proceedings in his criminal case.
The judge added that Stacy -- who revealed in court he now has plans to live in Alabama -- is still to have no contact whatsoever with Evans indefinitely.
The woman who was violently beaten by Zac Stacy is set to testify in court against the ex-NFL player on Wednesday ... hoping a judge makes it harder for Stacy to be released from custody.
Kristin Evans will be in the Orange County, Fla. courtroom in just minutes ... arguing that Stacy's bond should be heavily increased.
A judge initially set the bond at $10,150 for Stacy -- who was charged with two felonies over the Nov. 16 attack on Evans -- but Evans argued on social media afterward that was nowhere near enough.
Evans said she feared Stacy would try to hurt her again if he was released from custody -- and now wants a judge to up his bond amount at the hearing.
Stacy, meanwhile, has been ordered to be in the courtroom in person -- and it's all slated to begin at 7 AM PT.
As we previously reported, Stacy was hit with one count of aggravated battery and one count of criminal mischief after video showed him punching Evans and then throwing her into a television in Oakland, Fla. earlier this month.
Stacy wasn't initially apprehended at the scene, but he was ultimately arrested in the Orlando area on Nov. 18.
Originally Published -- 7:02 AM PT
11:55 AM PT -- We had UFO expert Jeremy Corbell on TMZ Live, who didn't seem too happy about the announcement, in fact, Corbell believes this is a strong-arm movement by The Pentagon to control the UFO research and hard work experts have put in over the years.
Uncle Sam wants to wrangle in the UFO phenomenon that's clearly starting to go mainstream -- and they're doing it by launching a whole new team specifically designed to dig in ... or, we should say, probe deeper.
The U.S. Dept. of Defense announced this week it's starting a task force called the Airborne Object Identification and Management Synchronization Group to look into what several people claim they've seen in the skies, dating back decades.
This new unit is going to replace the Navy's Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force -- which just got created last year. Seems like the Pentagon wants to broaden the scope here.
In a press release, the DoD says the purpose of this new group will be to "detect, identify and attribute objects of interests in Special Use Airspace," and not just that -- but also, "to assess and mitigate any associated threats to safety of flight and national security."
Translation: We wanna know who or what's flying around us, and if they come in peace!!!
DoD notes the move comes under direct orders and in coordination with top intelligence officials ... while pointing out this is the direct result of that DNI report earlier this year, which turned out to be a big nothing burger.
You'll recall, our government was unable to properly identify or explain 143 out of 144 flying objects that had been witnessed and/or documented since 2004. The Defense Dept. says the new agency is being formed to improve a system that's clearly flawed.
While this might seem like exactly what needs to happen in light of Congress members publicly demanding the Pentagon fess up on what it knows ... some actually see it as a bad thing, that'll only cloak info in more secrecy.
Critics claim this appears to be a shadow move by the government to keep the public in the dark -- and it's only be passed off as an attempt to discover the truth.
Arizona Cardinals' defensive end J.J. Watt is stepping up in a major way ... by offering to pay for the funeral expenses of all the victims of the Waukesha Christmas parade tragedy.
Watt was devastated after learning of the deadly incident ... calling it "horrific" and expressing concern for those who had been injured and killed.
The incident hits close to home for Watt, especially since he's a Wisconsin native and Badger alum. He also went to high school in nearby Pewaukee, just a few miles from Waukesha.
Now, the Cardinals star is putting his wallet where his enormous heart is ... 'cause he is offering to cover the funeral costs of all the lives lost as a result of the heinous catastrophe.
Of course, J.J. is known to give back -- in 2017, Watt was named the NFL's Walter Payton Man of the Year ... which recognizes recipients for their charitable efforts.
In 2018, he also offered to cover the funeral costs of the people who died in the Santa Fe High School shooting ... and he raised $37 million in an effort to help rebuild Houston and the Gulf region after they had been ravaged by Hurricane Harvey.
Watt's efforts come at a time where a community reeling from tragedy is looking for a reason to celebrate something positive.
Here's to #99 for providing that reason for them.
Kyle Rittenhouse is making the rounds in right-wing circles -- and his latest stop was with none other than Donald Trump ... who's fully in his corner in the wake of his trial and acquittal.
DT was on Sean Hannity's show when he revealed he got some face time with Rittenhouse, who'd apparently just left "a little while ago" from his Florida resort home, Mar-a-Lago. It's unclear exactly when this meeting took place -- Hannity said he interviewed DT Monday.
Anyway, Trump wasn't shy to let the FOX News audience know how he felt about the whole case -- telling Hannity that Rittenhouse never should've been put through the wringer... calling the whole thing "prosecutorial misconduct."
DT also made it clear he's a fan of Rittenhouse, and seems to think he's a fine young man -- whom he says is a supporter of his, unlike "the other guy" ... whoever that may be.
The 2 of them posed for a couple shots in what looks to be Trump's office -- where there were tons of photos of the former President shaking hands with world leaders ... including a clear photo of Trump meeting Kim Jong-un.
As we reported ... Rittenhouse was acquitted on all charges, with a verdict finding him not guilty of murder -- or any wrongdoing, as the jury felt he was acting in self-defense when he shot and killed 2 people and injured a third.
Rittenhouse did an interview with Tucker Carlson ... saying the case wasn't about race, that he wasn't a racist -- and, interestingly, that he may be ramping up to sue people he believes might've defamed him by calling or characterizing him as a white supremacist.
The holidays are upon us once again -- and after a 2020 pandemic twist ... we can look forward to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade returning in force, and it looks like they're really bringing it this year.
A new fleet of floats and balloons was unveiled this week before they hit the streets of NYC Thursday -- and as you might imagine the attractions and balloons are pretty spectacular ... which was to be expected after having to exclude bystanders from last year's event.
Among the most eye-popping ... Disney's cruise ship, Kalahari Resorts & Conventions' elephant wave structure, a giant gator-infused edifice made to promote Louisiana, and others.
The balloons are a little more recognizable to the average pop culture consumer -- there's Ronald McDonald, Baby Yoda, Ada Twist and a gaggle of Pokemon who are going to be led down the path by rope-holders.
The rehearsal for tomorrow's big show went down at Herald Square -- and it seems like everyone is just about ready ... including singers and dancers, of which there are many.
They, too, were out there getting their pipes warmed up ... and while the rehearsal was going down -- people who were nearby posed for some pics as well, something they'll be able to do plenty of this year now that they can attend in person.
We're not out of the pandemic yet, but we're closer than ever ... that much is for sure.
Great sight for hoops fans last night -- legendary college broadcaster Dick Vitale made his return to the broadcast booth amid an ongoing cancer battle ... and the scene was emotional.
Vitale -- who battled melanoma earlier this year -- revealed back in October that he was battling another form of the disease ... and would be required to undergo six months of chemotherapy treatment.
Dickie V announced that he would continue to call games even during his treatment for lymphoma ... saying "That's my best medicine of all," and on Tuesday, he kept true to his promise.
Vitale was on hand last night to call the highly-touted matchup between #1 Gonzaga and #2 UCLA ... and naturally, it was a special moment.
In the video, you can see an emotional Dickie V fighting back tears as he was overwhelmed with emotion ... detailing how he felt during his first college game since his most recent diagnosis.
"It's great being here, Dave. I didn't want to cry," Vitale said. "I can't believe I'm sitting here. It's really a big thrill for me."
82-year-old Dickie V also said he never thought he'd be at courtside again following the diagnosis, but the support from ESPN, his family and the fans made his return possible.
"I want to thank all you people who sent me so many great messages. I want to thank, certainly, my family. All the fans."
Welcome back, Dickie V!!!
Young Dolph's death has spurred a huge interest in his girlfriend's business -- which, coincidentally, was already working to help people like herself who've lost loved ones to tragic violence.
Dolph's longtime partner, Mia, started a campaign last year after her brother was killed, called the Black Men Deserve to Grow Old campaign, operating under her Momeo clothing brand. Since YD's murder, her company has blown up exponentially.
A Momeo brand manager tells TMZ ... prior to Dolph's death, the Momeo shop page was seeing about 20 orders a day, but now the transactions range anywhere from 250 to 600 daily. We're told the sales boost is largely due to one new piece of merch ... a Young Dolph tribute hoodie.
Momeo is making the most of those through-the-roof numbers, aiming to boost its charitable arm ... the BMDTGO campaign.
The brand rep tells us they're raising money for families who fall victim to gun violence -- like Mia herself now has, twice -- and this spike in sales and traffic has benefited their goals to an unimaginable extent.
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For instance, we're told their goal was to sell around 3,000 products by the end of the year -- with a third of the proceeds going directly to grieving families. The boom after Dolph's murder means Momeo will achieve that number in the next week.
BTW, this new higher profile for Mia's campaign is helping her get support from friends and strangers alike, including therapy service providers.
You gotta believe Dolph is somewhere smiling, as he was a major supporter, and was even set to become a spokesperson for Mia's brand before his untimely death.
Benedict Cumberbatch is on the attack ... against toxic masculinity, calling it a problem rooted deep in a society that needs major adjustments if we're going to achieve equality.
The actor is talking up his new film "Power of the Dog," which is set in 1920s Montana, and his character, Phil Burbank, is described as a masochist rancher who bullies his sister-in-law ... played by Kirsten Dunst.
While talking to Sky News about the role, he went off about the "need to fix the behavior of men."
Cumberbatch says toxic masculinity should start to be looked at like a mental health issue and corrected from an early age. He says if society is to bring equal pay between men and women, equal seats at the table and equality across the board there's a lot that needs to change.
He continues, "You get this sort of rebellion aspect, this denial, this sort of childish defensive position of 'not all men are bad'. No, we just have to shut up and listen."
So, what's behind BC going ballistic on men? Sounds like he so deeply immersed himself into the character that he might have blurred lines between the role and reality.
For instance, Kirsten's said she avoided Benedict between takes on set because he mostly remained in character.
You could understand Benedict's powerful stance against male dominance after playing such an extreme character. Of course, a cynic might say he's simply going on the attack before "woke" critics inevitably go after him for even taking the role.
Either way, he's making it clear -- toxic dudes gotta go.
It appears LeBron James found somewhere other than the team hotel to watch his Lakers play Tuesday -- 'cause the suspended superstar was spotted slinking away from the swanky NYC venue just before L.A.'s tip-off.
The NBA great -- who was banned one game for his role in a wild altercation with Detroit Pistons center Isaiah Stewart on Sunday -- walked quickly and sported a hood over his head while he got into a van to try to find somewhere to catch the Lakers vs. Knicks matchup.
Unclear where the 36-year-old was headed ... but it's apparent the dude did not want to be seen by cameras.
Check out video of him leaving the Four Seasons, his oversized coat, hoodie and brisk walk show he wasn't in any mood to stop and talk.
Of course, Bron was not allowed at Madison Square Garden after the NBA barred him from the contest following his incident with Stewart.
You'll recall, LeBron kick-started a near-melee by hitting Stewart in the face ... and just 24 hours after the fracas, the NBA handed down its punishment to the Lakers player, suspending him for the first time in his 19-year career.
As for how the Lakers fared without the star -- they lost yet again, dropping their game to the Knicks, 106-100.
LeBron is expected to return to L.A.'s lineup when they play next against the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday.
Kyle Rittenhouse has denied being a white supremacist, and even claims to be fully in support of Black Lives Matter -- but a prominent leader in the org itself isn't so sure.
We spoke to Melina Abdullah -- the co-founder of L.A.'s BLM chapter -- and she's not buying Rittenhouse's assertion he's down with the cause. She tells us, from what she's seen ... it's total BS.
Check it out ... Abdullah tells us she thinks his claims of backing BLM don't match up to his history -- and she says the proof is in the pudding. Abdullah makes reference to photos of him flashing perceived "white power" signs online.
She was referring to the now-infamous image from last year that circulated all over social media -- showing Rittenhouse in a bar after his release from jail, flashing what looks like the OK sign ... which many see as a blatant white supremacist gesture. Rittenhouse has denied that's what he meant.
Still, Melina says something doesn't feel right ... she believes the fact he's cozying up to right-wing media types -- like Tucker Carlson, with whom he did an interview last week -- doesn't help Rittenhouse's case for being a BLM backer.
She suggests Rittenhouse is being used as a pawn, perhaps unsuspectingly, by folks she thinks are more interested in racial division than unity.
Again, Rittenhouse has firmly denied being a white supremacist and/or a racist -- and insists his case and actions last summer in Kenosha had nothing to do with race.
As we reported ... KR was found not guilty of all charges against him, as the jury felt he acted in self-defense when he shot and killed 2 people that night.
Even though Melina thinks Kyle is NOT on her side right now, it sounds like she's leaving the door open for him (and others) to come on over and become true allies -- so long as they do the work and educate themselves first.
A SpaceX rocket blasted off Tuesday night for a mission of self-destruction ... and its end game is to save planet earth!
NASA commissioned Elon Musk's rocket company to hurl a Falcon 9 rocket into a nearly year-long journey which will end with the spacecraft bashing into a faraway asteroid.
Scientists want to see if the impact could actually change the asteroid's trajectory ... something that could be lifesaving if it were headed toward mother earth.
The spacecraft -- dubbed DART, short for Double Asteroid Redirection Test -- left earthly terra firma at Vandenberg Space Force Base in Cali ... and the whole thing is kinda like a ripoff of "Armageddon."
DART is supposed to violently connect with Dimorphos -- an asteroid that measures 525 feet across -- at a speed of 15,000 MPH.
Scientists say the impact will not destroy the asteroid ... but the goal is to change its orbit.
It's complicated, but if the asteroid moves for a minimum of 73 seconds, the mission is considered a raging success!
The length of the mission puts civilian rocket launches to shame ... DART will travel 6.8 million miles from earth. Take that, Shatner!
Kodak Black is still finding a way to give back to his community while he's in rehab ... helping folks in Florida make sure they have food on the table this Thanksgiving.
The rapper dropped $14,500 for more than 5,000 turkeys and had his team distribute them through a Thanksgiving tour of sorts across several South Florida communities ... according to Kodak's attorney, Bradford Cohen.
We're told Kodak's turkey giveaway made 7 stops in 3 days, with his team coming through in rental trucks to hand out the birds.
With Kodak's help, folks in the Sistrunk and Sunland neighborhoods will be able to have a nice Thanksgiving dinner ... as well as those in Delray Beach, Fort Lauderdale, North Miami, Little Haiti in Miami and of course, Golden Acres, where Kodak grew up.
KB's known for his generosity, and his attorney says he would have loved to have been there handing out turkeys in person, but he's focused on completing rehab so he can continue supporting underprivileged neighborhoods.