Court filings detail several phone calls between then DA, killers in days after the Arbery murder

BRUNSWICK, Ga. — Channel 2 Action News has uncovered new developments in the alleged coverup in the investigation into Ahmaud Arbery’s murder.

For the first time, we’re learning about details of a connection between a South Georgia prosecutor and one of the now convicted defendants.

In the weeks following Arbery’s killing, then Glynn County District Attorney Jackie Johnson said she was staying completely out of the investigation.

One of the men now convicted in Arbery’s murder — Greg McMichael — used be one of her office’s investigators.

Johnson has since been indicted for obstruction and allegedly violating her oath of office by stonewalling the investigation and not treating Arbery’s family with respect.

“They not only failed Ahmaud, they failed the entire family,” Arbery’s mother, Wanda Cooper Jones, said.

Johnson’s lawyers want the charges dismissed, but in recent court filings, prosecutors are showing publicly for the first time phone records that suggest even though Johnson recused herself from the case, she was keeping McMichael in the loop about the ongoing investigation.


Records show at least 15 phone calls between the day Arbery was killed and just before McMichael, his son Travis and neighbor Roddie Bryan were arrested. At least one call or voice mail lasted 21 minutes.

The court filings also detail how prosecutors believe even with a conflict Johnson tried to steer the case to her desired outcome.

On a South Georgia radio show just days before the now convicted murderers were arrested, Johnson defended her actions.

“We were trying to make the best decision we could at the time. And we were not trying to do anything to manipulate this case. We were trying to stay out of this case,” Johnson said at the time.

The motions were just filed in Glynn County Superior Court. A judge has not made any decisions.

The McMichaels and Bryan will be sentenced in August on federal hate crimes connected to the case.