Hearing delayed for ex-DA charged in wake of Arbery killing

Posted at 2:31 PM, December 27, 2022 and last updated 7:58 PM, July 17, 2023

BRUNSWICK, Ga. (AP) — A judge has postponed a court hearing this week for a former Georgia prosecutor charged with meddling in the police investigation of the 2020 killing of Ahmaud Arbery.

Jackie Johnson booking photo

This jail booking photo provided by Glynn County Sheriff’s Office, shows Jackie Johnson, the former district attorney for Georgia’s Brunswick Judicial Circuit, after she turned herself in to the Glynn County jail in Brunswick, Ga, on Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021.  (Glynn County Sheriff’s Office via AP)

Superior Court Judge John R. Turner ordered that the court appearance for former Brunswick Judicial Circuit District Attorney Jackie Johnson’, initially scheduled for Thursday, be held later, according to court records. The judge has not set a new date.

Johnson has not appeared in court since she was indicted in September 2021 on charges of violating her oath of office and hindering police investigating Arbery’s killing. White men in pickup trucks chased the young Black man on Feb. 23, 2020, after spotting him running in their neighborhood outside coastal Brunswick. The chase ended with Arbery being shot dead in the street.

The man who initiated the chase, Greg McMichael, was a retiree who had worked as an investigator for Johnson. She was still Glynn County’s top prosecutor when Arbery was killed, but lost her reelection campaign a few months later.

TRIAL ARCHIVES: GA v. McMichael, et al. (The Killing of Ahmaud Arbery)

The indictment against Johnson accuses her of using her office to try to shield Greg McMichael and Travis McMichael, his adult son who fired the fatal shotgun blasts, from prosecution.

Both McMichaels and a neighbor who joined the chase and recorded cellphone video of the killing, William “Roddie” Bryan, weren’t arrested until more than two months later when the video leaked online and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation took over the case from local police.

The McMichaels and Bryan all have since been convicted of murder and federal hate crime charges.

Johnson has denied wrongdoing, saying she immediately recused herself from the investigation into Arbery’s death.