Ahmaud Arbery and Ukraine Updates


Ahmad Arbery Case

  • The Atlanta Journal is reporting that former DA for the Brunswick Circuit District, Jackie Johnson, has finally been given an arraignment date.
  • It is highly unusual for a person charged with two felonies to have 14 months before they are arraigned.
  • Many of us here in Glynn County believed that she would never be tried.  She tried her best to prevent the three men who murdered Ahmaud Arbery from even being arrested.
  • What has provoked this sudden decision to make an arraignment date? It is possible that the reporting by the Atlanta Journal detailing the unusual nature of the lag in time for the arraignment had an impact.
  • Superior Court Judge John R. Turner scheduled the first court hearing for December 29.  On that day Johnso can formerly enter her plea and present motions to dismiss one of the counts.
  • Johnson was indicted on September 2, 2021.  She is accused of hindering the police investigation of the Arbery murder.
  • All Glynn County judges recused themselves.  Turner is a former Bulloch County Judge.
  • Quote from the Atlanta Journal
  • “After the killing, Johnson recused herself from the case because Greg McMichael once worked for her. She then called District Attorney George Barnhill in a neighboring judicial circuit and asked him to look at the case. Barnhill oversaw the investigation before ultimately deciding to recuse himself from the case. But before he did so, he wrote a highly controversial letter in which he said he believed Arbery’s killing was justified.
  • The AG’s Office then assigned the case to the Cobb DA’s Office, which secured the indictment, tried the case and obtained the convictions at a trial that ended the day before Thanksgiving in 2021.
  • A motion filed six months ago by Johnson’s lawyers contends there is “not a scintilla of evidence” that shows Johnson told two Glynn County police officers not to arrest Travis McMichael the day of the shooting. The AG’s Office, which is prosecuting the former DA, filed a response urging the charge to be allowed to go before a jury at trial.
  • In the violation of oath of office charge, Johnson is accused of failing to treat Arbery’s family fairly and with dignity; showing favor to her former employee, Greg McMichael; and failing to tell the AG’s Office she had asked Barnhill for assistance with the case before recommending that he be assigned it.”
  • The article in the AJC noting the unprecedented lag in time between indictment and arraignment was published on November 22, 2022.
  • Johnson has been granted bond and has been free all this time.
  • She has yet to have a court appearance.
  • An arraignment typically occurs within a few weeks or months of an indictment.


UKRAINE, Notes from the News

The Guardian (11/29/22)

  • Fighting in Bakhmut continues and is described by the Guardian as a “bloody morass.”
  • The Russians moved reinforcements there from the Kherson region.  The fighting has descended into trench warfare. 
  • There is also heavy fighting around Soledar, with mercenaries from the Wagner Group in the forefront. 
  • (Note: Wagner recruits include pardoned convicts)
  • Ukraine’s presidential office described the conditions as “catastrophic.:
  • Because Bakhmut has little strategic importance, the reporting is that the Wagner-led efforts “appear to have become more about the prestige of Wagner in the Kremlin’s inner circles than any joined-up military thinking.”
  • Because of the pounding of infrastructure, residents of Kyiv might have to be evacuated.

The Telegraph

  • Europe can expect more Ukrainian refugees during the winter, as Putin uses the weather and infrastructure attacks as a weapon intended to demoralize citizens.
  • It is estimated that eight million civilians have left the country.
  • Russia is deploying long range missiles in Belarus.  This action does not significantly increase Russia’s range, but does draw Belarus more deeply into the war.

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