On May 11, Georgia’s Attorney General Chris Carr appointed a new prosecutor on the case of Ahmaud Arbery’s death. However, the lawyers for the three men charged will head to court to demand that Cobb County district attorney Joyette Holmes, who is a Black woman, be removed.
According to WTOC11, a hearing is set for Friday, July 17 and the “notice for the hearing shows attorneys for the suspects have filed a motion to strike the illegal appointment of the district attorney.”
It is not clear how the attorneys will argue the appointment of Holmes, who is the fourth prosecutor on the case, is illegal.
The case has cycled through three different prosecutors, beginning with Glynn County prosecutor Jackie Johnson who recused herself due to conflicts of interest, as did Ware County prosecutor George Barnhill. The case also landed on the desk of Tom Durden, Liberty County D.A., who recommended that the case go to a grand jury.
On June 24, father and son Greg and Travis McMichael and their neighbor William Bryan were indicted on nine formal charges, including malice murder; four counts of felony murder; two counts of aggravated assault; false imprisonment; and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment.
The indictments were announced by Holmes.
On February 23, Ahamud Arbery, 25, was followed while jogging in Brunswick, Georgia. He was confronted by the McMichaels before a physical altercation began, ending with Travis McMichael shooting Arbery dead. Bryan allegedly joined in the chase to capture the incident on video.
The case went largely unnoticed until video was leaked on social media.
Holmes, a Republican, became the first Black woman to serve as Cobb County D.A., when former prosecutor Vic Reynolds was appointed director of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the agency that brought charges against the McMichaels. Prior to being appointed district attorney, she was Cobb’s Judicial Circuit’s Chief Magistrate.
McMichaels' mugshot courtesy of Glynn County Detention Center; CNN screenshot