A former Georgia district lawyer was indicted Thursday by a grand jury, which mentioned she confirmed choice to the men accused of killing Ahmaud Arbery final 12 months.
The former prosecutor, Jacquelyn Lee Johnson, was indicted on fees of violation of oath of public officer and obstruction of a police officer, Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr introduced. Johnson was the Brunswick Judicial Circuit district lawyer when Arbery, 25, a Black man, was shot in February 2020. Johnson in the end misplaced re-election in November.
Arbery was shot and killed on Feb. 23 after Gregory McMichael, 64, and Travis McMichael, 34, his son, adopted him of their pickup. Arbery’s household has mentioned he was out jogging, whereas the McMichaels, who’re white, mentioned they thought he was a burglar.
IMAGE: Ahmaud Arbery in a household photograph (Courtesy of household)
Johnson recused herself from the case days after the capturing. She famous that Gregory McMichael, a former Glynn County police officer, had been an investigator in her workplace for greater than 30 years earlier than he retired in May 2019.
Johnson now accused of “exhibiting favor and affection to Greg McMichael in the course of the investigation,” according to the indictment document released Thursday. She also is alleged to have hindered two police officers “by directing that Travis McMichael should not be placed under arrest.”
The indictment also alleges that Johnson sought help from Waycross Judicial Circuit District Attorney George E. Barnhill, whom she recommended to take the case after she stepped aside, without disclosing her previous conversations with Barnhill.
Barnhill recused himself in April and defended the McMichaels in his letter, stating to the police captain at the time that the father and his son had “solid first hand probable cause” to imagine Arbery was a burglar.
No additional particulars concerning the allegations have been launched. Carr’s workplace mentioned it can proceed to examine.
Johnson didn’t instantly return a voicemail requesting remark Thursday.
Although Arbery died in February 2020, the case didn’t get intense scrutiny till video of the shooting was released in early May 2020. The video circulated on-line and drew widespread outrage, and the case was referred to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation not lengthy after its launch.
In the video, which was posted by Arbery household lawyer Lee Merritt, Arbery is seen jogging down a street as a white pickup truck is stopped in entrance of him. Arbery runs across the car, and a shot is fired. The video exhibits Arbery and one other man showing to tussle as two extra photographs are fired.
NBC News doesn’t know what occurred earlier than the occasions proven within the video.
The McMichaels have been charged with felony murder, together with their neighbor William “Roddie” Bryan, 50. Bryan, who was with the McMichaels and recorded the video, argued that he was just a witness.
All three men pleaded not responsible.
CORRECTION (Sept. 2, 2021, 8:05 p.m. ET): A earlier model of this text misspelled the previous prosecutor’s first title. She is Jacquelyn Lee Johnson, not Jaquelyn. It additionally misstated when Ahmaud Arbery was killed. He was killed in February 2020, not final February.