3.9k Share this

Disgraced Georgia DA facing corruption charges over Ahmaud Arbery murder had 16 calls with black jogger’s killer between fatal shooting and clip of incident being leaked

  • Former Georgia DA Jackie Johnson, 49, faces corruption charges for violating her oath of office 
  • She allegedly obstructed police work after allegedly discouraging officers from making arrests
  • It was also revealed she spoke to one of Arbery’s murderers Greg McMichael, who has been convicted, at least seven times on the phone 
  • A total of 16 calls were made between Johnson and McMichael between the time the shooting occurred and the clip of the shooting was leaked 
  • Most of the calls were seconds long, indicating that nearly half of them went unanswered 
  • Prosecutors did not give any details as to what was discussed during these calls 

The disgraced Georgia district attorney, who is facing corruption charges over Ahmaud Arbery’s murder, is accused of speaking to one of the jogger’s murderers at least seven times after the fatal shooting. 

Investigators found that the day after the shooting, then-Brunswick Judicial Circuit District Attorney Jackie Johnson placed a phone call to Greg McMichael, 65, a retired investigator for her office who initiated the deadly pursuit of Arbery, 25. 

The call lasted more than nine minutes, prosecutors said in a misconduct case against Johnson said in the legal filing.

The Thursday filing lists 16 calls between phone numbers for Johnson and McMichael – who she is accused of having ‘affection’ for and reportedly trying to protect.

The calls stared February 23, 2020, when McMichael left Johnson a voicemail about an hour after the shooting, and ending May 5, 2020, the day graphic cellphone video of Arbery’s killing leaked online. 

The video sparked a national outcry over the young black man’s death at the hands of three white pursuers.

More than half the calls lasted just a few seconds to a minute, suggesting some went unanswered and others involved voicemails. Seven calls lasted between just shy of three minutes to 21 minutes, according to the court record.

The legal filing by prosecutors gave no details of any of the phone conversations. 

It also opposes defense motions seeking dismissal of the case. 

A grand jury indicted Johnson last year on a felony charge of violating her oath of office as well as a misdemeanor count of hindering a police investigation. Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr’s office is prosecuting the case, which alleged Johnson used her position to protect McMichael and his son.

She is accused of discouraging the police from making arrests in connection with Arbery’s death. She allegedly instructed two Glynn County police officers not to arrest Travis McMichael, 35, who shot and killed Arbery, on February 23, 2020, the indictment papers said.

Former Georgia DA Jackie Johnson, 49, faces corruption charges for violating her oath of office and reportedly speaking to murderer of Ahmaud Arbery and former employee Greg McMichael, at least seven times over the phone

Former Georgia DA Jackie Johnson, 49, faces corruption charges for violating her oath of office and reportedly speaking to murderer of Ahmaud Arbery and former employee Greg McMichael, at least seven times over the phone 

McMichael, 65, was a former investigator at Johnson's office. A total of 16 calls were placed between the two, but nearly half of them were only seconds long, suggesting some went unanswered and others involved voicemails

McMichael, 65, was a former investigator at Johnson’s office. A total of 16 calls were placed between the two, but nearly half of them were only seconds long, suggesting some went unanswered and others involved voicemails

‘The evidence shows that Johnson showed favor and affection for McMichael throughout the pendency of the case – including when she was making decisions as the DA over his case,’ the prosecutors’ legal filing said.

Johnson has insisted she recused herself immediately from the investigation and turned the case over to outside prosecutors since McMichael was a former employee. Her attorneys have asked a judge to dismiss the charges, saying ‘there is not a scintilla of evidence’ that she interfered with the police investigation.

Johnson lost her reelection race for district attorney in November 2020 and blamed public outrage over the delay in arrests over Arbery’s death, though she denied wrongdoing. 

Hours after the shooting, Johnson enlisted District Attorney George Barnhill of the neighboring Waycross Judicial Circuit to meet with local police the next day and advise them on the case. Prosecutors in the misconduct case said Barnhill decided after one meeting not to seek charges.

Johnson waited until after that meeting to ask the Georgia attorney general’s office to appoint an outside prosecutor to oversee the case. The legal filing says Johnson called the attorney general’s office three days after Arbery’s death and told a paralegal Barnhill had already accepted the case.

‘Johnson failed to disclose, however, that Barnhill had already reviewed the case and declared the case to be self-defense,’ the legal filing said. ‘Thus, Johnson effectively chose the outcome of the case despite having a conflict.’

Arbery was killed by the three men in February 2020 while he was running through their neighborhood. The men said they thought he was a theft 

Travis McMichael, 35, was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Arbery

William "Roddie" Bryan Jr., 52, was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Arbery

Greg’s son Travis McMichael (left) and their neighbor William “Roddie” Bryan Jr. (right) were also convicted of murder and got life in prison 

Barnhill ended up recusing himself. On April 3, 2020, when Johnson learned that Barnhill was stepping aside, there was a call from her phone to Greg McMichael, the court filing said.

The final listed call between them was made on May 5, 2020, when the video of the killing got posted online. The murder trial revealed the video was leaked to a local radio station by an attorney Greg McMichael had consulted.

The call consisted of Greg McMichael leaving a voicemail thanking Johnson for a referral, the legal filing said. He told her: ‘He´s gonna run interference for me right now, and that’s damn good advice, and I appreciate that very much.’

McMichael and his son were arrested on murder charges two days later. Bryan’s arrest followed after two weeks.

Footage of the attack showed McMichael and his son, Travis, arming themselves with guns and used a pickup truck to chase 25-year-old Arbery after spotting him running in their neighborhood just outside the port city of Brunswick. 

A neighbor, William ‘Roddie’ Bryan, 52, joined the pursuit in his own truck and recorded the cellphone video of Travis McMichael blasting Arbery at close range with a shotgun.

In the video recorded by Bryan, Arbery can be seen trying to wrestle a shotgun from Travis McMichael's hands in the South Georgia neighborhood of Brunswick on February 23, 2020

In the video recorded by Bryan, Arbery can be seen trying to wrestle a shotgun from Travis McMichael’s hands in the South Georgia neighborhood of Brunswick on February 23, 2020

After being shot three times by the younger McMichael, the video shows Arbery collapsing to the pavement. He died on the scene

After being shot three times by the younger McMichael, the video shows Arbery collapsing to the pavement. He died on the scene

Gregory McMichael (left) allegedly told police that he, his son (right) and their neighbor Bryan had Arbery (pictured on the pavement) 'trapped like a rat,' noting that the jogger 'knew he wasn't going to get away'

Gregory McMichael (left) allegedly told police that he, his son (right) and their neighbor Bryan had Arbery (pictured on the pavement) ‘trapped like a rat,’ noting that the jogger ‘knew he wasn’t going to get away’

The men told police that Travis McMichael opened fire in self-defense as Arbery threw punches and tried to grab the shotgun. The McMichaels told police they suspected Arbery of being a thief. Arbery was unarmed when he was killed, and police found no evidence he had stolen anything.

All three men were convicted of murder by a state court jury last November and were sentenced to life in prison. They stood trial again in federal court, with a jury convicting them in February of committing hate crimes. Sentencing in that case is scheduled for August.

The McMichaels were already serving life without parole after being convicted of murder at state trial and Bryan was serving life with the possibility of parole after 15 years, but he now faces extra time because of the federal conviction.

Unlike the state murder trial last year, the federal trial focused mostly on the racial elements of the case and the slurs the men used against Arbery.

The men all pleaded not guilty, insisting as they did at their state trial that they chased and killed Arbery because they thought he was a burglar.

The prosecution presented videos and testimony of how racist the men all were, including how they had used the N-word, referred to Arbery as a ‘trapped rat’ and as a ‘monkey.’

Advertisement

Source: Daily Mail

3.9k Share this
You May Also Like

Active shooter on the loose at Texas elementary school as campus is plunged into lockdown

BREAKING NEWS: At least one person shot at Texas elementary school and…

UK records TWELVE more monkeypox cases: Outbreak hits 90 as virus reaches Wales and Northern Ireland

Another 12 monkeypox cases were detected across the UK today as the…

Mattel Announces Barbie Doll to Celebrate Transgender Actor Laverne Cox

Mattel has announced the release of its newest Barbie doll to celebrate…

German girl, 15, reveals Texas gunman told her he was going to shoot up elementary school

A 15-year-old German girl has revealed the twisted Texas gunman told her…

John Kerry Hobnobs with Chinese Officials at Davos

Chinese state media on Thursday was delighted to report the Biden administration’s…

Distraught sheriff’s deputy weeps over death of daughter, 10, in Texas school massacre

Shattering moment sheriff’s deputy responding to Texas school massacre is told his…

Leaked pictures show Boris Johnson raising a glass after adviser’s last day

Downing Street scrambled to defend Boris Johnson last night after pictures emerged…

Joe Biden ‘Faces Limits’ to Infringe upon 2nd Amendment 

The New York Times wrote Thursday that President Joe Biden “faces limits of his…