Cobb County

1-on-1 exclusive with special prosecutor on Ahmaud Arbery case, D.A. Joyette Holmes

COBB COUNTY, Ga. — The special prosecutor in the Ahmaud Arbery case gave her first one-on-one interview to Channel 2 Action News Thursday.

Arbery, 25, was chased down and shot to death while jogging through a Brunswick, Georgia neighborhood in February. A father and son were charged with his murder months later, after video of the shooting went viral.

Channel 2 Cobb County Bureau Chief Chris Jose talked to Cobb County District Attorney Joyette Holmes to learn how she will get justice in this case.

One of her top prosecutors on the case, Jesse Evans, is currently in charge of major crimes.

The office in Cobb County is nearly empty due to COVID-19 precautions, but there's still a lot of moving parts taking place there and in Brunswick.

Travis and Greg McMichael and their neighbor, William "Roddy" Bryan, who helped with the chase and filmed the shooting, were indicted on a total of nine charges each last week.


Holmes explained what the most serous charges are against the men.

“Malice murder,” Holmes said. “It’s senseless, a depraved heart.”

Holmes said the newly passed hate crime law, which Arbery's death inspired is not retroactive in his case, but she would have considered it if it was already in place.

The Department of Justice is assessing the evidence as well.

"The federal government does have a hate crime statute," Holmes said. "If they were to so choose to bring those charges, they would be able to."

In early June, a Georgia Bureau of Investigation investigator testified that Travis McMicahel was heard saying the "n" word as he stood over Arbery's body. Prosecutors said Arbery was chased, hunted down and executed.

Jose asked Holmes what justice would look like in the case.

"Those are charges for which we would go before a jury and ask them to find all three defendant guilty of each of the charges in that indictment," Holmes said.

Holmes told Jose that as a mother, she feels the pain that Arbery's family is dealing with every day.

"Any loss of life, especially in the way this happened, it's really hard," Holmes said.

Holmes said that last week, she and her team visited a mural of Arbery , which is painted on the future site of the African American History Museum in Brunswick.

By chance, Holmes ran into Arbery's father and brother. Holmes said Arbery's father vowed to keep his son's memory alive by helping other kids.

“He had already been called and he knew about the grand jury indictment,” Holmes said. “But he had the opportunity to really express his appreciation.”

Holmes said the indictments are one more step to a jury trial.

Comments on this article