A former Georgia District Attorney (DA) was indicted on Thursday by a grand jury for allegedly showing favor to the men accused of killing Ahmaud Arbery last year.

Jacquelyn Lee Johnson was indicted on charges of violation of oath of public officer and obstruction of a police officer, Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr announced.

Johnson was the Brunswick Judicial Circuit district attorney when Arbery, a 25-year-old Black man, was shot in February 2020, NBC News reported.

READ NEXT: Three Georgia Men Indicted in Killing Ahmaud Arbery

Ex-District Attorney Criminally Charged Over Ahmaud Arbery's Case

The indictment comes after Ahmaud Arbery's mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, filed a civil lawsuit earlier this year, accusing Jacquelyn Lee Johnson of attempting to cover up her son's murder. 

According to the indictment, the former DA failed to discharge her duties as district attorney when she "showed favor and affection" to one of the murder suspects, Greg McMichael, during the investigation into the shooting death of Arbery.

Johnson also allegedly failed "to treat Ahmaud Arbery and his family fairly and with dignity" by using her past work as motivation to shield the three men from charges. 

Greg McMichael reportedly worked as a police officer before. He had also worked as an investigator in the office of Jacquelyn Lee Johnson during her tenure until his retirement in 2019.

The former DA was accused of directing police officers at the scene not to place suspect Travis McMichael under arrest. She also allegedly failed to disclose that she had sought Waycross Judicial Circuit District Attorney George Barnhill's assistance on the case before assigning him to it. 

The indictment underscored that Johnson's actions were contradicting to the laws of the state where she served. If convicted, Jacquelyn Lee Johnson will face up to six years of imprisonment.

The violation of oath of public officer carries one to five years imprisonment, while obstruction and hindering a law enforcement officer can be sentenced up to 12 months.

"We thank the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the Glynn County Grand Jury for their hard work. While an indictment was returned today, our file is not closed, and we will continue to investigate in order to pursue justice," Carr said.

Carr added that their office is committed to ensuring those entrusted to serve will carry their duties ethically and honestly. Carr's Prosecution Division has presented evidence to a Glynn County grand jury over several months that resulted in Johnson's indictment.

Ahmaud Arbery's Killing

Ahmaud Arbery was fatally shot and killed while out for a jog in Brunswick City on February 23, 2020. Arbery was accused of being one of the burglars in a series of local break-ins.

Reports said suspects Gregory McMichael and his son Travis McMichael, armed with guns, confronted the victim, prompting him to run.

Arbery ran past the truck of another suspect, William "Roddie" Bryan Jr., who struck the victim with the side of his truck. After seeing the McMichaels pursuing Arbery in a pick-up truck, Bryan joined the chase.

Eventually, the three men caught up with Ahmaud Arbery, and three shots were fired. The McMichaels were arrested and charged with murder and aggravated assault in May 2020.

Bryan, who has recorded the killing, has been charged with felony murder and a criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment. The three suspects pleaded not guilty to federal hate crime charges last May.

READ MORE: Lawmaker Says Ahmaud Arbery Was Murdered for Being Black

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Written By: Joshua Summers

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