On Nov. 24, the same day that Travis McMichael, Gregory McMichael and William “Roddie” Bryan Jr. were found guilty on charges related to the death of Ahmaud Arbery, the former prosecutor in the case turned herself in to face her own charges.
Former Brunswick district attorney Jackie Johnson was charged with misconduct for her handling of the Ahmaud Arbery case and was booked at the Glynn County jail after turning herself in on Wednesday. Nov. 24.
A grand jury indicted Johnson, 49, last week on a felony charge of violating her oath of office and a misdemeanor count of obstructing police. Johnson was the area’s top prosecutor when three white men chased and ultimately killed Arbery last year. The indictment alleges she used her position to discourage police from making arrests in the 25-year-old’s killing.
Although the three men were found guilty this week on a variety of charges, including murder, Johnson did not charge the three men in the killing until 74 days later and only after a video leaked of the deadly confrontation and protests from the community.
Gregory McMichael previously worked for Johnson as an investigator in the district attorney’s office before retiring in 2019. Phone records introduced in court show he called Johnson and left her a voicemail soon after the shooting. Johnson has previously denied any wrongdoing, saying she recused her office from the case immediately because of its relationship with Gregory McMichael. Johnson was released on her own recognizance and did not have to pay a cash bond.
The indictment also alleges that Johnson failed to “treat Ahmaud Arbery and his family fairly and with dignity.” Lee Merritt, an attorney representing Arbery’s mother Wanda Cooper-Jones, called out her actions as well.
“She should spend time in prison. Her actions are not just acts of negligence, but she actively worked to cover up the murder,” Merritt said in an interview.