The death of Ahmaud Arbery has sparked outrage across the country in the past few days, prompting the arrests of Gregory McMichael and his son Travis McMichael. For over two months, the suspects have been roaming the streets freely with no arrests actually being made on the case until recently.
Glynn County Sheriff’s Office Getty Images
According to AJC, Waycross Judicial Circuit District Attorney George Barnhill wrote a letter of recusal that revealed his son, a former prosecutor at the Brunswick DA’s office, and Gregory McMichaels, who served as an investigator at the same office, revealing that “both helped with the previous prosecution of (Ahmaud) Arbery.” Adding he learned about McMichael’s history with Arbery “three or four weeks ago.”
McMichael was noted to be a former Glynn County cop once news of Arbery’s murder began to gain traction. He claimed that he was making a citizen’s arrest after a string of robberies in the neighborhood, though no evidence suggested Arbery was responsible for this. Barnhill did not specify the exact prosecution. Arbery was sentenced to five years probation in high school for charges of carrying a weapon on school grounds and obstructing a law enforcement officer. He was later convicted of a probation violation in 2018 after he was charged for shoplifting.
Family attorney Lee Merritt did acknowledge the charges but said that references to “alleged conduct from high school or shoplifting is absurd and has nothing to do with his murder.”
“We’ve been here before whether it’s Tamir Rice or Trayvon Martin,” said Benjamin Crump, an attorney for Arbery’s father. “When they kill our children, they then try to assassinate their character and I know they’re going to do that with Ahmaud Arbery.”