The ex-district attorney of Glynn County, Georgia, was booked into a Georgia county jail on charges of mishandling the Ahmaud Arbery murder case on Wednesday, the same day his three attackers were convicted of murder. Jackie Johnson, 49, a former Brunswick Judicial Circuit district attorney, turned herself in, and was later released on a bond, authorities said.
She was released on her "own recognizance," and was not required to pay the posted $10,000 bail, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Johnson is accused of discouraging the police from making arrests in connection with Arbery's death and misleading cops following the arrests.
Paying for Her Actions
Johnson was indicted by a grand jury last week and now faces felony charges for violating her oath of office and a misdemeanor for obstructing police work. She misguided police and obstructed them from taking any action following Arbery's death, which included preventing cops from making arrests.
Interestingly, she turned herself in following which she was arrested on the dame day, the three other men, Travis McMichael, 35, his father Gregory McMichael, 65, and their friend William "Roddie" Bryan were convicted of Arbery's murder.
Johnson was indicted on counts of obstruction and violations of oath in connection to allegations that she deliberately delayed the arrests of Gregory, Travis and Bryan.
Prosecutors and Arbery's parents believe she was trying to help prevent the men from going to trial. However, Johnson denied any wrongdoing and said that she decided to withdraw her office from the case because one of Arbery's attackers, Gregory, had been an employee which would have been conflict of interest had she continued with the case.
State prosecutors accused Johnson of violating her oath by "showing favor and affection" to Gregory McMichael and obstructing the case by "directing that Travis McMichael should not be placed under arrest." The indictment also alleges that Johnson failed to "treat Ahmaud Arbery and his family fairly and with dignity."
"She should spend time in prison," said Lee Merritt, an attorney for Wanda Cooper-Jones, Arbery's mother. "Her actions are not just acts of negligence, but she actively worked to cover up the murder." Twitter users are also calling for Johnson's conviction.
On the fateful day of February 23, 2020, Arbery was mid-jog when the three white men chased after him in their cars, cornered him and gunned him down. Arbery was first confronted by the Travis and Gregory who claimed he was a suspect in a series of alleged local break-ins.
The McMichaels then reportedly went to make a "citizen's arrest" by following him in their white pickup truck while armed with a pistol and shotgun. After exiting the truck, Travis fatally shot Arbery three times and later claimed self-defense.
Johnson was indicted on September 2 on misconduct charges alleging she used her position to shield the men who chased and killed Arbery from being charged with crimes immediately after the shootings.
She allegedly instructed two Glynn County police officers not to arrest Travis, who shot and killed Arbery, the indictment papers said.
Johnson faces one to five years in prison if convicted of violating oath and up to one additional year for the charge of obstruction.