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Former Georgia DA Booked on Obstruction Charges in Ahmaud Arbery Case

Former Glynn County District Attorney Jackie Johnson was booked on charges related to her misconduct in the aftermath of the Ahmaud Arbery shooting.

Johnson, 49, turned herself into the Glynn County sheriff’s office on Wednesday morning and was later released from the Glynn County Detention Center on her own recognizance, meaning she did not have to pay a cash bond.

Last week, Johnson was indicted by a grand jury on charges of violating her oath of public office and obstruction of a police officer.

Johnson was the area’s top prosecutor when three white men chased and fatally shot Arbery last year.

Georgia prosecutors alleged that she used her position to delay arrests of the men– father-son duo Greg and Travis McMichael, and their neighbor William “Roddie” Bryan. In addition, the indictment also alleges the ex-DA showed “favor and affection” to Greg McMichael, who once worked as an investigator in her office. Johnson also failed “to treat Ahmaud Arbery and his family fairly and with dignity.”

The indictment also alleges Johnson “knowingly and willfully” directed officers not to arrest Greg McMichael’s adult son Travis McMichael.

Attorney General Chris Carr announced the indictment after requesting that the Georgia Bureau of Investigation launch an investigation in May 2020. A judge signed the warrant for Johnson’s arrest on Thursday, the same day the indictment was handed down.

“What I think is important about the case is accountability. I think the attorney general in Georgia felt that it was very important, as do many people in the community, that she be held accountable. Whether she be convicted or not, that’s a separate question,” said Brunswick criminal defense lawyer Page Pate, who is not affiliated with the case. “These charges are not clear cut. It’s kind of a stretch to say simply because of the way she handled the situation, she committed a felony offense. That’s going to be an uphill climb for the attorney general, but regardless of the outcome, bringing the indictment here in Glynn County sends a strong message about accountability.”

Johnson had been district attorney in the Brunswick Judicial Circuit since 2010. She lost her reelection bid last November after facing much criticism about how she handled the Arbery case.

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