Georgia DA had 16 cellphone calls with considered one of Ahmaud Arbery’s killers within the days following his assassination

According to prosecutors, in the days after the black man was pursued and shot dead in a racially motivated attack, sixteen phone calls were made between one of Ahmaud Arbery’s killers and the local prosecutor assigned to the case.

Court documents filed in Glynn County Superior Court last week show that Jackie Johnson, former district attorney for the Brunswick Judiciary Circuit, spoke to Gregory McMichael several times in the weeks following the murder.

Between February 23, 2020 — the day McMichael, his son Travis McMichael, and his neighbor William “Roddie” Bryan Jr. chased Arbery in their trucks through a Georgia neighborhood and shot him dead — and May 5, 2020 — the Day shocking video of murder leaked online – Call logs show the couple spoke at least 16 times.

The calls began almost immediately after Arbery’s killing, with McMichael calling Ms. Johnson for “advice” soon after the shooting.

At 2:14 p.m. that afternoon, McMichael called Ms Johnson, but the call went unanswered and he left a voicemail, the documents say.

“Jackie, this is Greg. Could you call me as soon as possible? Um… we’re, uh… my son and I were involved in a shooting and I need advice right away,” he says on voicemail.

“Could you please call me as soon as possible? Thanks. Goodbye.”

The following day, another phone call between the two lasted nine minutes and 15 seconds, according to court documents.

At the time, Ms Johnson was still the prosecutor leading the case.

During this time, Ms Johnson participated in phone calls with other officers involved in the case, including the lead investigator, according to the call log.

The longest phone call between Ms Johnson and McMichael lasted 21 minutes and four seconds on April 30, transcripts show.

The former prosecutor, who was ousted from office over allegations of a cover-up of Arbery’s death, is awaiting trial for allegedly abusing her position of power to protect the killers from prosecution.

Ms Johnson and McMichael had known each other long after the former Glynn County police officer served as an investigator in the DA’s office for two decades before retiring.

The new court documents came in response to two motions by Ms Johnson’s legal department to dismiss criminal charges against her.

Prosecutors argue that the motion should be denied because the challenge is late, the defense’s claim that there was no evidence to support the prosecution is “completely unfounded” and the oath taken by the grand jury witnesses is sufficient.

The filing came just days before Arbery’s 28th birthday on Sunday.

Civil rights attorney Ben Crump paid tribute to the black jogger on Twitter.

“Happy Heavenly Birthday Ahmaud Arbery!” he tweeted.

“Today we commemorate and honor him on his 28th birthday, grateful that we were able to bring justice and some measure of peace to his family.”

McMichael, 66, Travis McMichael, 36, and Bryan, 52, were found guilty of Arbery’s murder at their state trial in November.

The McMichaels were each sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, while Bryan was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole, allowing him to be released after serving 30 years.

In February, the three killers were also found guilty of hate crimes in their federal trial, which found that the three white men had stalked and murdered the black jogger because of his race.

They face life imprisonment on those charges, and their sentencing is scheduled for August.

The three killers evaded justice for more than two months after Arbery’s death.

It wasn’t until McMichael’s attorney leaked footage of his assassination online – believing it showed they had committed no crime – that they were finally arrested and charged.

Ms Johnson was the first female prosecutor in the case before retiring from her office over McMichael’s connections.

Travis McMichael, William “Roddie” Bryan Jr. and Gregory McMichael left to right


She turned the case over to a second prosecutor, George Barnhill, who recommended no charges and claimed the killers’ acts were “perfectly legal” before also withdrawing.

In September, a grand jury indicted Ms Johnson of violating her oath as a public servant and obstructing a police officer.

Prosecutors said she prevented two Glynn County police officers from performing their duties by ordering them not to arrest Travis McMichael.

She then violated her oath by “showing favor and affection to Greg McMichael during the investigation,” prosecutors said.

Ms Johnson also allegedly sought help from DA Barnhill in the case before withdrawing.

She then allegedly recommended that he take on the case without disclosing his help.

Ms Johnson has denied any wrongdoing to her lawyers, arguing in legal documents in March that “there is not a shred of evidence” that she “ever knowingly and/or intentionally prevented a law enforcement officer or officers from arresting anyone associated with the.” Murder related by Mr Arbery”.