Civil Rights Attorney S. Lee Merritt revealed to the outlet on Wednesday (July 22) that Brunswick District Attorney Jackie Johnson and Waycross District Attorney George Barnhill are being investigated for the way they mishandled the case.
District Attorney Johnson is under investigation for nepotism. She reportedly had connections to Gregory McMichael, one of the defendants in the murder trial. Merritt says the FBI is investigating whether or not due process was followed by both district attorneys who each reported the case as a conflict of interest and requested that it move to another prosecutor.
Earlier this month REVOLT reported that the three suspects who were charged with murder for the killing of Arbery filed a motion to have District Attorney Joyette Holmes, a Black woman, removed from the case.
Arbery, a 25-year-old Black man, was fatally shot while jogging through a neighborhood near his home in Brunswick, Georgia. He jogged past the suspects — Gregory and Travis McMichael — who then went and got their guns. The father and son took their weapons and jumped into their truck to follow the jogger. Soon after, there was a struggle over the firearm and Arbery was shot and killed. William Bryan recorded the incident and was later found to be involved.
Last month, the three white male suspects were each charged with nine counts: four counts of felony murder, false imprisonment, malice murder, two counts of aggravated assault and one count of criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment.
A preliminary hearing for Ahmaud’s case revealed that Travis, who followed Ahmaud with his father and Bryan, called him a “fucking n*gger” after fatally shooting him. Georgia was one of four states that didn’t have a hate crime law already in place, but on June 23, lawmakers approved a hate crime bill that would permit intensified criminal penalties for those who target others because of their gender, race, sexual orientation or other reasons.
All three suspects have plead not guilty to the charges.