Judge Rejects Dismissal of Charges Against Ex-Georgia Prosecutor in Ahmaud Arbery Case

District Attorney Jackie Johnson campaigns for reelection on St. Simons Island, Ga.

Senior Judge John R. Turner has denied a request to dismiss misconduct charges against former District Attorney Jackie Johnson, who is accused of impeding the investigation into the 2020 killing of Ahmaud Arbery. This decision arrives 20 months after Johnson’s defense team filed a motion to scrap the case, citing insufficient evidence.

Jackie Johnson was the lead prosecutor in Glynn County, Georgia, when Ahmaud Arbery, a Black man, was pursued and fatally shot by white residents Greg McMichael and his son Travis McMichael on February 23, 2020. Greg McMichael, a former investigator, had previously worked under Johnson. Travis McMichael was the individual who fired the fatal shots, and their neighbor, William “Roddie” Bryan, who joined the chase, recorded the incident.

Over two months elapsed before arrests were made, catalyzed by the leakage of Bryan’s video and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s takeover of the case from local police.

In September 2021, Johnson was indicted by a grand jury, facing a felony charge for violating her oath of office and a misdemeanor for hindering a law enforcement investigation. The indictment asserts that Johnson attempted to shield the McMichaels, advising Glynn County police not to arrest Travis McMichael on the day of the shooting.

Johnson has pled not guilty and refuted any misconduct, stating that she recused herself from Arbery’s case due to her prior professional relationship with Greg McMichael.

Despite her defense’s motion in March 2022 to dismiss the case for lack of evidence, prosecutors countered in May 2022, highlighting 16 phone calls between Johnson and Greg McMichael after the shooting. One of these calls lasted 21 minutes.

The progress of Johnson’s case has been slow, further delayed by her defense attorney Brian Steel’s involvement in rapper Young Thug’s ongoing racketeering trial in Atlanta.

Johnson, who lost her re-election bid in 2020 partly due to the controversy surrounding her handling of Arbery’s case, was indicted after her electoral defeat. She surrendered to the Glynn County jail and was released without a cash bond.

Meanwhile, the individuals responsible for Arbery’s death have been convicted and sentenced. In November 2021, the McMichaels and Bryan were found guilty of murder in Glynn County Superior Court, receiving life sentences. In February 2022, they were also convicted of federal hate crimes, leading to additional sentencing in August – a second life term for the McMichaels and an extra 35 years for Bryan.

Author: CrimeDoor

Leave a Reply

Share on:

[mailpoet_form id="1"]

Subscribe to Our Newsletter