ATLANTA - A Glynn County grand jury indicted former Brunswick Judicial Circuit District Attorney Jackie Johnson Thursday for misconduct in the investigation of the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery last year. (The circuit consists of Glynn, Camden, Wayne, Appling and Jeff Davis counties.)
Johnson is charged with violating her oath as a public official and obstructing a police officer. The first charge is a felony punishable by one to five years in prison, while the second is a misdemeanor.
Specifically, Johnson is accused of showing favoritism in the investigation toward suspect Greg McMichael, who had worked as an investigator in her office, and “failing to treat Ahmaud Arbery and his family fairly and with dignity,” the indictment stated.
The obstruction charge results from Johnson telling two Glynn County police officers not to arrest McMichael’s son Travis, according to the indictment.
“Our office is committed to ensuring those who are entrusted to serve are carrying out their duties ethically and honestly,” said Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr. “While an indictment was returned today, our file is not closed, and we will continue to investigate in order to pursue justice.”
Arbery, a 25-year-old Black man, was gunned down in February of last year. He was jogging in the Satilla Shores neighborhood when the two McMichaels allegedly armed themselves, got into a pickup truck and chased him. They were able to use their truck to cut off his route.
A third suspect, William “Roddie” Bryan, is accused of joining the chase in a second truck.
All three face state charges of malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, false imprisonment and criminal attempt to commit a felony. They also were indicted by a federal grand jury for hate crimes.
Johnson was widely criticized over her handling of the case and lost her bid for reelection last November.