SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Former Brunswick District Attorney Jackie Johnson now faces criminal charges related to the investigation into Ahmaud Arbery‘s death.
Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr announced the indictment Thursday, charging Johnson with violation of oath of public officer, a felony, and obstruction of a police officer.
If convicted, Johnson could face one to five years for violation of oath and up to 12 months for the misdemeanor obstruction charge.
The attorney general released the following statement after the indictment was returned:
Our office is committed to ensuring those who are entrusted to serve are carrying out their duties ethically and honestly. We thank the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the Glynn County Grand Jury for their hard work. While an indictment was returned today, our file is not closed, and we will continue to investigate in order to pursue justice.Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr
Johnson lost her bid for reelection last year to Keith Higgins after her office was criticized for its handling of Arbery’s death.
Abery, a Black man, was killed on February 23, 2020, by a white father, Greg McMichael, and his son Travis as he was running in their neighborhood. Greg McMichael had worked as an investigator in Johnson’s office.
The indictment alleges Johnson showed “favor and affection” to Greg McMichael and “did knowingly and willfully hinder” Glynn County police officers from arresting Travis McMichael.
Ben Crump, an attorney for Arbery’s family, said the indictment is “another step in the right direction.”
“Former DA Johnson may not have pulled the trigger on the day Ahmaud was murdered, but she played a starring role in the cover-up,” a statement from Crump reads, in part.
He demanded Johnson be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
“Ahmaud was denied all consideration the day he was murdered and in the months following his death,” the attorney continued, “it’s past time that those responsible be held accountable for it.”