Reprinted with permission from Alternet
Three white men linked to the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery were indicted on murder charges Wednesday after allegations of prosecutorial misconduct significantly delayed accountability in the case. Cobb County District Attorney Joyette Holmes, who is the fourth prosecutor assigned to the case, announced online Wednesday that Glynn County's Grand Jury has indicted former Georgia cop Greg McMichael, his son Travis McMichael, and the man who filmed parts of the deadly encounter, William Bryan.
Along with the malice murder charge, they face four counts of felony murder, two counts of aggravated assault, false imprisonment, and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment. "This is another step forward in seeking justice for Ahmaud," Holmes said.
She added: "Our team from the Cobb Judicial Circuit has been committed to effectively bringing forward the evidence in this case and today was no exception. It has been an effort of many agencies including the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Justice who have worked together to get to this point. We will continue to be intentional in the pursuit of justice for this family and the community at large as the prosecution of this case continues."
BREAKING: Travis and Gregory McMichael and William "Roddie" Bryan have been officially INDICTED FOR MURDER of… https://t.co/jUS43JOoib— Ben Crump (@Ben Crump)1593029690.0
Arbery, a 25-year-old Black man, was unarmed when he was accused of breaking into a South Georgia home, hunted down, and fatally shot Feb. 23, 2020, for doing little more than jogging, his family's attorneys have said. Even though the Glynn County Police Department obtained Bryan's video of the incident the same day, suspects Gregory and Travis McMichael weren't arrested until Thursday, May 7, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said. That was a full 74 days after Arbery's death, which was ruled a homicide.
Two different Georgia district attorney offices are being investigated for "possible prosecutorial misconduct" in the case. District Attorney Tom Durden, who was assigned to take over the case as a special prosecutor, later passed on the role he said was better suited for a prosecutor with more resources. Holmes, the first Black woman to serve as Cobb County's district attorney, announced she would be prosecuting the case in May.
Read the rest of her post announcing the indictment here:
The Cobb DA's Office was able to present this case today to Glynn County's Grand Jury pursuant to the Second Order Extending the Declaration of Statewide Judicial Emergency, signed by Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Harold D. Melton on May 11, 2020, which states: "Grand juries that are already impaneled or are recalled from a previous term of court may meet to attend to time-sensitive essential matters, but these grand juries should not be assembled except when necessary and only under circumstances in which social distancing and other public health guidance can be followed."This was reiterated in the Third Order Extending the Declaration of Statewide Judicial Emergency, issued on June 12, 2020. The additional Guidance from the Supreme Court authorizes a district attorney to assemble an existing grand jury if the district attorney determines the matter is essential to the administration of justice, if a delay may substantially harm to public interest, and if the grand jury can be assembled safely.The full document can be found at:https://www.gasupreme.us/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Further-Guidance-on-Grand-Juries_May-11.pdfThe defendants' arraignment before Judge Timothy R. Walmsley has not yet been scheduled.