Georgia Attorney General requests for an investigation into recused prosecutors in Ahmaud Arbery’s murder case

by Duke Magazine

On Tuesday, May 20, Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr, has announced his request for the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to painstakingly investigate the rationale behind two district attorneys (Brunswick and Waycross district attorneys) involved in the Ahmaud Arbery murder case.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) stated in a news release that the case involved “possible prosecutorial misconduct” by the D.A.’s office.

“Unfortunately, many questions and concerns have arisen regarding, among other things, the communications between and actions taken by the District Attorneys of the Brunswick and Waycross Circuits,” Carr said in the statement.

 “As a result, we have requested the GBI to review in order to determine whether the process was undermined in any way.”  

It would be noted that the Arbery case is presently on its fourth district attorney after several incidents of conflict of interest were discovered.

Ahmaud Arbery was shot dead by Gregory McMichael and his son Travis McMichael while jogging in Brunswick, Georgia on February 23. The police interrogated the duo in connection to the incident, but were released shortly after then. With the leaking of the video showing the killing, and Georgia Bureau of Investigation interested in the case, the McMichaels were arrested 74 days after the gruesome killing of Arbery (May 7), and are being charged with murder and deadly assault.

It has been confirmed that Gregory McMichael’s connection to the police is being investigated, as he is a former law enforcement officer who worked for local District Attorney Jackie Johnson.

“When a district attorney is unable to take on a case due to a conflict, our office must appoint another prosecutor to handle the case,” Carr said this in a present statement.

According to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Johnson gave the case to District Attorney George Barnhill of the Waycross Judicial Circuit.

“Not long after Mr. Barnhill’s appointment, he and Ms. Johnson discovered that Mr. Barnhill’s son, an assistant district attorney in Ms. Johnson’s office, had worked with Mr. McMichael on a prosecution involving Mr. Arbery,” the Georgia Bureau of Investigation gave this in their press release after receiving Carr’s request. “Mr. Barnhill, however, held onto the case for several more weeks after making this discovery.”

Barnhill would also come under fire for his inaction regarding the McMichaels, noting “that he did not see grounds for the arrest of any of the individuals involved in Mr. Arbery’s death,” a fact that was “unknown and undisclosed to the Attorney General.” Barnhill also “failed to disclose his involvement in this case prior to his appointment,” according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

Most recently on Monday, Carr annoui Cobb County District Attorney Joyette Holmes as a new prosecutor in the case. Holmes, a Black woman, is now the fourth prosecutor to handle Ahmaud Arbery’s case.

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