On Wednesday, Sept. 8, a former Georgia prosecutor was put into jail and then released after being charged with misconduct for using her position to assist the individuals charged in Ahmaud Arbery’s death.
After handing herself into the Glynn County jail in the morning, former Brunswick Judicial Circuit District Attorney Jackie Johnson was released on her own recognizance and did not have to pay the bond.
A Glynn County grand jury indicted Johnson, 49, on a felony count of breaching her oath of office and a misdemeanor count of impeding a law enforcement officer on Sept. 2.
According to the indictment, Johnson used her position as the circuit district attorney to shield Gregory and Travis McMichael, as well as their next-door neighbor, William “Roddie” Bryan. The guys are charged with felony murder in the killing of Arbery, who was 25 years old.
On allegations of malice murder, felony murder, and criminal attempt to conduct false imprisonment, the men will stand trial. The jury selection process begins on October 18th.
Johnson was charged after Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr sought an inquiry into how local officials handled Arbery’s murder last year.
Despite the fact that Arbery was slain while running in his mother’s Satilla Shores neighborhood in February 2020, no one was apprehended until May, after video footage of the slaying leaked online.
Arbery, Ahmaud Marquez (Photo courtesy of the #IRunWithMaud Facebook page)
The matter was quickly taken up by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, which apprehended the three guys. On Feb. 23, 2020, Travis McMichael fatally shot Arbery as he fled through the Georgia neighborhood. Before Arbery was slain, the McMichaels spotted him running and pursued him down, cutting off his path with a truck. Bryan captured the chase on film and joined in the fun.
McMichael contacted Johnson and left a message for her after the shooting, according to evidence presented during court hearings.
According to a recording of the call, he said, “Jackie, this is Greg.” “Could you please call me as soon as possible? My son and I were involved in a shooting, and I require immediate assistance.”
According to reports, Johnson did not return McMichael’s call. However, the indictment claims that Johnson offered McMichael “favor and affection” and interfered with police officers on the scene by “directing that Travis McMichael not be placed under arrest.”
Johnson issued a letter recusing herself from the probe on Feb. 27, just days after the shooting, citing a conflict of interest. Gregory McMichael was a former Glynn County police officer and a retired investigator with the Brunswick District Attorney’s Office. Carr was asked by Johnson to move the case to a separate office.
Johnson, on the other hand, would not say if she had addressed the issue with the district attorney to whom she would propose the case be transferred.
Johnson has previously denied any impropriety in her handling of the issue, claiming that recusing herself was the correct thing to do. Last year, she was defeated in reelection, blaming her fall on controversies.
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