A former Georgia prosecutor was indicted for misconduct after allegedly using her position to protect the men who chased and murdered Ahmaud Arbery.
On Thursday, a Glynn County grand jury indicted former Brunswick Judicial District Attorney Jackie Johnson, accusing her of violating her oath of office and obstructing a police officer, when she shielded the men from being arrested and charged with crimes immediately after they fatally shot Arbery while he was jogging through a Glynn County subdivision.
Abery, a 25-year-old Black man, was chased through the subdivision by Greg McMichael and his son Travis McMichael. The father and son duo fatally shot Arbery and later said they thought the victim was a burglar suspect.
William “Roddie” Bryan is accused of helping the McMichaels pursue Arbery. Bryan recorded the tragic and senseless encounter with a cellphone, which shows Travis shooting Arbery at close range with a shotgun.
The three men were not immediately charged following the shooting and remained free for over two months until the Georgia Bureau of Investigations examined the matter.
Greg worked as an investigator in Johnson’s office and left a voicemail on her cellphone after the incident.
The indictment claims Johnson showed “favor and affection” toward Greg amid the investigation and interfered with police officers at the scene by “directing that Travis McMichael should not be placed under arrest.”
Johnson continues to deny any wrongdoing, saying she immediately recused herself from the case because of Greg’s former employment. She also recommended an outside prosecutor, Waycross Judicial Circuit District Attorney George Barnhill, to oversee the case. He concluded no charges were warranted.
After Arbery’s family noted he had a son working for Johnson as an assistant prosecutor, Barnhill later stepped aside.
The charge of violating the oath of a public officer is a felony that carries a sentence of 1 to 5 years in prison. The charge of obstruction and hindering a law enforcement officer is a misdemeanor that carries up to 12 months.
Johnson lost reelection last year. She blames it on Arbery’s case.