One of the men involved in the shooting of Ahmaud Arbery spoke with his former boss, who later served as prosecutor in the case, over a dozen times in the weeks after the 2020 killing, according to a new court filing.
Gregory McMichael, who was involved in the killing of Ahmaud Arbery, was called 16 times by then-District Attorney Jackie Johnson after the shooting, according to a court motion filed by the Georgia Attorney General's Office against the district attorney on Thursday related to a trial alleging obstruction of justice. McMichael previously served as an investigator in Johnson's office. Johnson and McMichael's 16 phone calls between Feb. 23, 2020, and May 5, 2020, began one hour after Arbery was shot, filings revealed.
"Could you call me as soon as you possibly can? My son and I have been involved in a shooting, and I need some advice right away,” McMichael said in the first call, per the filing.
Johnson replied a day later, and the pair spoke for nine minutes and 15 seconds, according to the documents, which were filed to oppose a motion from Johnson's lawyers to dismiss her case.
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McMichael called back several times after the initial call, with most of the calls not lasting more than a minute, the filings indicated. Seven of the calls lasted between three minutes and 21 minutes, according to court records. On the final call, McMichael purportedly thanked Johnson.
"He’s gonna run interference for me right now, and that’s damn good advice and I appreciate it very much," he said on the May 5 call, which did not indicate to whom McMichael was referring, according to the filing.
The call was apparently made the same day that the cellphone video of McMichael's son Travis firing three shots at Arbery went viral.
Local authorities criticized Johnson for allegedly blocking the arrest of McMichael and those involved in Arbery's death. Johnson was charged with hindering the investigation into Arbery's death in September 2021. She turned herself in to the local prison on Nov. 25, 2021.
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The McMichaels were found guilty of killing Arbery on Nov. 24, 2021, and sentenced to life in prison without parole. Their neighbor, William "Roddie" Bryan, was sentenced to life with parole in connection to the incident.