BRUNSWICK, Ga. — Tuesday marks one year since Ahmaud Arbery was shot and killed as three men followed him through a Brunswick, Ga. neighborhood and filmed the shooting.
The video of Arbery’s shooting and death spread across the internet in April, leading to an investigation by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation not only into the shooting, but how prosecutors handled the case.
A grand jury indicted father and son Greg and Travis McMichael and William “Roddie” Bryan on nine charges including malice murder. The indictment formally charges all three men with malice murder, four counts of felony murder, two count of aggravated assault, false imprisonment and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment.
Here is a timeline of events from the past year and what we know so far about the case and upcoming trial.
Feb. 23, 2020: Ahmaud Arbery is shot and killed while jogging in a Brunswick neighborhood.
Feb. 27, 2020: Brunswick District Attorney Jackie L. Johnson recuses herself from the case, citing a conflict of interest because one of the defendants, Greg McMichael, is a former investigator for her office.
Early April: Waycross District Attorney George Barnhill takes over the case and finds there is insufficient evidence to charge anyone for killing Arbery.
After pressure from Arbery’s family, Barnhill recuses himself citing a conflict of interest because his son is an attorney in the Brunswick DA’s office.
April 1, 2020: The Brunswick News receives a copy of the police reports from the Glynn County Police Department.
April 13, 2020: A third prosecutor, District Attorney Tom Durden of the Atlantic Judicial Circuit, becomes head of the investigation.
April 29, 2020: Channel 2′s sister station Action News Jax obtains 911 calls from the day of the shooting.
April 30, 2020: The City of Brunswick releases statement saying it is aware of the events which resulted in the shooting death of Arbery:
May 5, 2020: District Attorney Durden recommends the case be sent to a grand jury to decide if any charges should be filed.
Hours later, video of Arbery being shot lands on social media, sparking outrage and calls for Greg and Travis McMichael to be arrested. [Full video can be watched here. WARNING: Video is graphic]
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is asked to take over the investigation.
May 7, 2020: Within hours of GBI taking over the case, Greg and Travis McMichael are arrested and charged with aggravated assault and murder in the death of Arbery.
The McMichaels are booked into the Glynn County jail.
May 8, 2020: The Georgia Bureau of Investigation held a news conference to go over its timeline of how they took over the case and made the arrests.
A massive rally is held outside the court house in Brunswick to honor what would have been Arbery’s 26th birthday. Supporters across the country also ran or walked 2.23 miles in his memory.
Greg and Travis McMichael appeared in court where a judge denied bond for both men.
May 9: GBI says it has reviewed additional video footage in the Arbery case. One video appears to be from a surveillance camera at a Brunswick home near where Arbery was shot. A family lawyer said the video does appear to show Arbery, but that he was doing nothing wrong.
May 10, 2020: Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr requests the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate the case.
May 11, 2020: Carr appoints Cobb District Attorney Joyette Holmes to take over the case from special prosecutor Thomas Durden. Durden has recused himself from the case.
The Justice Department said federal prosecutors are considering hate crime charges against the McMichaels.
May 12, 2020: The GBI launches a new investigation into the Arbery case looking into how it was handled by the offices of the District Attorneys of the Brunswick and Waycross Judicial Circuits.
May 18, 2020: During a late-night news conference, the attorney for the man who recorded the deadly shooting of Ahmaud Arbery, William “Roddie” Bryan, pleaded with the attorneys for the victim’s family to pull back on the threats because his client was getting death threats and feared for his safety.
May 19, 2020: The GBI returns to the Satilla Shores neighborhood after securing search warrants and agents go through the homes of Gregory and Travis McMichael, as well as vehicles that belong to the men.
May 20, 2020: Glynn County District Attorney Jackie Johnson took to the radio to say she did everything right by recusing herself from the Ahmaud Arbery murder case as criminal, state and federal investigations put more attention on her office and the politics surrounding the investigation.
May 21, 2020: The GBI announces third arrest in the Arbery case. William “Roddie” Bryan, who recorded the video of Arbery being shot, was charged with felony murder and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment.
May 26, 2020: The Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, the FBI, and the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia announce they are looking into possible federal hate crime charges in the Arbery Case.
June 4, 2020: During the preliminary hearing, a GBI investigator said one of the suspects Travis McMichael used the N-word while standing over Arbery’s body. Read the hearing’s minute-by-minute updates here.
June 24, 2020: A grand jury indicted the McMichaels and Bryan on nine charges including malice murder. The Cobb County District Attorney’s Office said the indictment Wednesday formally charges all three men with malice murder, four counts of felony murder, two count of aggravated assault, false imprisonment and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment.
July 17, 2020: A judge arraigned Travis McMichael, Greg McMichael and William Bryan on murder charges for Arbery’s death. All three men pleaded not guilty.
Channel 2 Action News also learned that the Georgia Bureau of Investigation has opened an unrelated sex crime case against one of the defendants. The GBI said that the investigation is based on allegations made against Bryan.
Oct. 6, 2020: Prosecutors say they want to show racist social media posts they believe came from the defendants to present to the jury. In motions, prosecutors ask to use Facebook posts, videos and text messages from the three defendants.
Nov. 4, 2020: Voters in Glynn County voted out District Attorney Jackie Johnson, who originally headed up the Ahmaud Arbery investigation. Special prosecutor Cobb DA Joyette Holmes also lost in the election. The new Cobb DA Flynn Broady said he will continue the office’s work on the Arbery case.
Nov. 13, 2020: A judge denies a bond request for Greg and Travis McMichael. Lawyers for the father and son argued they should be out of jail, making the case that the McMichaels were good people and were not a flight risk. Prosecutors argued that they are racists and pose a threat and that Greg McMichael was abusing his position as a former law enforcement officer.
Dec. 8, 2020: Judge Timothy Walmsley released the six-page denial ruling for the first time since verbally denying bond, explaining why he thinks the defendants are not good candidates for bond.
Dec. 15, 2020: Channel 2 Action News obtained newly-released police body camera videos from when officers first arrived on the scene on Feb. 23. Channel 2′s Tony Thomas asked for all of the video entered in evidence and received it this week. It is the best look so far at the scene where Arbery was killed and how quickly the suspects realized there was video of the incident.
Feb. 16, 2021: A bipartisan bill aimed at overhauling the state’s citizen arrest laws is introduced days before the one-year anniversary of Arbery’s death.
March 8, 2021: The Georgia House passed the overhaul of the state’s citizen arrest laws unanimously, 173-0.
April 28, 2021: A federal grand jury indicted the McMichaels and Bryan with federal hate crime and attempted kidnapping charges. The federal case will run parallel to the state’s criminal case.
The indictment charges the three men with federal hate crime offenses from unlawfully seizing Arbery and based on his race, using force and threats to intimidate and interfere with his right to be on the Brunswick street where he was jogging.
May 10, 2021: Gov. Brian Kemp signed House Bill 479 at the State Capitol as he was joined by a bipartisan group of legislators, advocacy organizations and members of Arbery’s family.
July 22, 2021: Arbery’s family was inside a south Georgia courtroom as lawyers on both sides tried to hammer out the details of how the quickly approaching trial against the men accused of killing him will run.
Aug. 25, 2021: A federal judge has scheduled an early 2022 trial for three Georgia men charged with hate crimes in the killing of Ahmaud Arbery. U.S. District Judge Lisa Godbey Wood issued a written order setting jury selection to begin Feb. 7 at the federal courthouse in the coastal city of Brunswick.
Sept. 8, 2021: Former Glynn County District Attorney Jackie Johnson turned herself over to the Glynn County Sheriff’s Office. A grand jury indicted Johnson on charges of violation of oath of public officer and obstruction of a police officer in relation to the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery.
Johnson was booked into the Glynn County Detention Center and released on $10,000 bond.
Oct. 12, 2021: Court officials preparing for the trial of three men charged with chasing and killing Ahmaud Arbery mailed jury duty notices to 1,000 people.
Oct. 18, 2021: Jury selection begins in Glynn County for the state trial.
Information from the New York Times was used in this article.
© 2020 Cox Media Group