GLYNN COUNTY, Ga. – Former church leader Ken Adkins, who was convicted at a trial in 2017 of child molestation and sentenced to 35 years in prison, plus life on probation, is demanding a Georgia court give him a new trial on his child molestation charges.
Attorneys for Ken Adkins filed a motion for the new trial, claiming prosecutorial misconduct on the part of former Glynn County District Attorney Jackie Johnson – who is under indictment for her handling of the Ahmaud Arbery murder case.
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At a hearing in Brunswick on Tuesday, Attorneys for Adkins said the case against him had some big holes in it. They claimed Johnson knew about those holes but prosecuted the case anyway.
In 2021, Johnson was indicted for misconduct in the case against Gregory and Travis McMichael, and their neighbor, William Bryan. The men were later convicted of killing Ahmaud Arbery. Just one day after johnson turned herself into the Glynn County Sheriff’s Office for that indictment, community and church leaders started calling for her work on the Adkins case to get another look.
Rev. Ferrell Malone, leader of the justice initiative, has been a vocal advocate for Adkins getting a new trial and said it’s not just based on Johnson’s handling of the McMichael-Brian case.
Related: Ex-prosecutor indicted for misconduct in Ahmaud Arbery death investigation
“The case is being brought by... it shows a systematic pattern of what took place at that particular time,” Malone said. “What this particular case deals with is a manipulation by authorities of the timeline that was set out to set to say he was guilty, the timeline was manipulated by an entire year.”
Adkins’ attorney claims Johnson covered up information about certain alibis for Adkins – which would amount to withholding evidence. But the DA’s office argued that there was no misconduct – and that the Brunswick Police Department and Georgia Bureau of Investigation turned over all the evidence as required.
Adkins has continued to proclaim his innocence – accusing the prosecutors of mounting a politically motivated attack based on his outspoken opposition to LGBTQ rights.
Adkins is in his early 60s – and is still facing 30 more years behind bars.