“Unfortunately, many questions and concerns have arisen regarding, among other things, communications and actions taken by Brunswick district attorneys and Waycross Circuits,” Carr said in a statement Tuesday. “As a result, we have asked GBI to conduct a review to determine if the process has been compromised in any way. “
The case is now at its fourth prosecutor, after multiple conflicts of interest.
Arbery, 25, was shot and killed while jogging in Brunswick, Georgia on February 23. Police first interrogated Gregory McMichael, 64, and his son, Travis McMichael, 34, but let them go. Several months later, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation was seized of the matter and arrested the McMichaels for murder and aggravated assault 48 hours after the start of their independent investigation.
Elder McMichael is a former law enforcement officer who worked for local district attorney Jackie Johnson. Carr told Fox News Dana Perino on Saturday that he first learned of the matter on February 27, when Johnson informed his office of his conflict of interest.
“When a district attorney is unable to handle a case due to a conflict, our office must appoint another prosecutor to handle the case,” Carr said in a press release announcing his request Tuesday .
According to the GBI, Johnson then turned the matter over to Waycross district court district attorney George Barnhill.
“Shortly after the appointment of Mr. Barnhill, he and Ms. Johnson learned that the son of Mr. Barnhill, assistant district attorney in Ms. Johnson’s office, had worked with Mr. McMichael on a lawsuit involving Mr. Arbery . Barnhill, however, hung on to the case for several weeks after making the discovery, “said the GBI in a press release received by Carr on Tuesday.
According to the GBI, Barnhill informed the Glynn County Police Department the day after Arbery’s murder “that he saw no reason for the arrest of anyone involved in the death of Mr. Arbery” , a fact which was “unknown and not disclosed to the Attorney General. Barnhill contacted Carr on April 7 to disclose the conflict of interest, wrote the GBI, but “did not reveal his involvement in the matter until his appointment.”
Carr appointed a new attorney in the case on Monday:. Holmes, a black woman, is now the fourth prosecutor assigned to the case, after district attorney Tom Durden, who first put the GBI in the fold.