SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – A Savannah judge will preside over any hearings of the father and son accused in the murder of Ahmaud Arbery.
Superior Court Judge Timothy Walmsley, of the Eastern Judicial Circuit, was appointed after the Brunswick Judicial Circuit judges “found it necessary to recuse themselves,” according to court documents.
Arbery was shot and killed on Feb. 23 in the Satilla Shores neighborhood in Brunswick. The victim’s family says he was just out jogging.
According to a police report, Gregory McMichael, 64, and his son Travis McMichael, 34, armed themselves and followed Arbery, saying he matched the description of a burglary suspect. After an encounter between Travis McMichael and Arbery, officials say the 34-year-old fired fatal shots.
No arrests were made until this month after cellphone video of the incident sparked national outrage. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) was requested to take over the case and arrested the McMichaels just days into the investigation.
The GBI and the Department of Justice have now been requested to investigate possible misconduct on the part of Brunswick District Attorney Jackie Johnson and Waycross District Attorney George Barnhill.
Johnson recused her office from the case shortly after the shooting due to the fact that Gregory McMichael was a former investigator there. Barnhill removed himself in early April but at the same time, offered an opinion that charges should not be filed in the case.
Cobb Judicial Circuit District Attorney Joyette Holmes has taken over now, following Atlantic Judicial Circuit District Attorney Tom Durden.
Gregory and Travis McMichael face charges of murder and aggravated assault.