Former Georgia District Attorney Charged With Obstructing the Ahmaud Arbery Case

Jackie Johnson, district attorney of the Brunswick Judicial Circuit. Image: Brunswick Judicial Circuit

Jackie Johnson, former district attorney of Glynn County, has been arrested and charged with alleged mishandling of the case of Ahmaud Arbery, CBS News reports.

The prosecution team alleged that she used her influence and position to intentionally delay arrests of the group of white men who pursued and killed the 25-year-old Arbery.

On Wednesday, Johnson turned herself into the Glynn County Sheriff’s office after a grand jury indicted her on counts of obstruction and violations of her oath by a public officer last week. She was released from the Glynn County Detention Center on a $10,000 bond.

As EBONY previously reported, when Arbery was murdered last year, Johnson was the top prosecutor and one of the men who charged, George McMichael, previously worked for her as a private investigator. 

Initially, Johnson claimed that she was innocent of any wrongdoing, saying she immediately recused her office from leading the case because of her relationship with McMichael. Throughout the ordeal, Arbery’s parents along with their legal team accused Johnson of attempting to help the Aubery’s killers avoid prosecution.

“Yesterday was a very huge win,” Wanda Cooper Jones, Arbery’s mother, told reporters when the indictment was announced last week. “I’m speechless. Unfortunately, Ahmaud is not here with us today. But losing Ahmaud, it will change some things here in the state of Georgia.”  

Chris Carr, a Republican Georgian District Attorney, filed the indictment after requesting an investigation of possible misconduct by local prosecutors who failed to bring charges in the killing.

According to the indictment, Johnson violated her oath by “showing favor and affection” to Greg McMichael and “failing to treat Ahmaud Arbery and his family fairly and with dignity.” It also stated she obstructed police by “directing that Travis McMichael should not be placed under arrest.”

“She should spend time in prison,” said Lee Merritt, an attorney for Arbery’s mother. “Her actions are not just acts of negligence, but she actively worked to cover up the murder.”

The three defendants in Arbery’s killing were found guilty and are expected to stand trial on federal hate crime charges in February.

If convicted of violating her oath of office, Johnson could face up to five years in prison. The obstruction charge would carry another year in jail.

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