Timeline: Key events in the investigation into the killing of Ahmaud Arbery
More than two months passed before two men were arrested in the killing of a black man running down a residential street just outside of Brunswick. The arrests came two days after a video of the shooting surfaced online and state investigators took over the case.
Now the father and son, Gregory and Travis McMichael, are charged with aggravated assault and felony murder in the Feb. 23 shooting death of 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery.
Here are some key developments as the case unfolded based on documents and interviews:
— Feb. 23: Ahmaud Arbery is shot shortly after 1 p.m. and is declared dead at the scene. No arrests are made.
— Feb. 24: Detectives meet with George Barnhill, a district attorney from a neighboring judicial circuit, because the local district attorney planned to recuse herself because Gregory McMichael previously worked for her. Barnhill tells police he believes the shooting was justifiable and tells them to continue investigating.
— Feb. 27: State Attorney General Chris Carr appoints Barnhill to handle the case after local District Attorney Jackie Johnson recused herself. Carr has said he was unaware that Barnhill had already talked to police and offered an opinion on the case.
— April 1: Glynn County police receive the autopsy results and send them to Barnhill.
— April 3: Barnhill writes a letter to police saying he plans to recuse himself because his son used to work with Gregory McMichael but also reiterates that he believes there is not sufficient probable cause to arrest the McMichaels.
— April 7: Barnhill asks the attorney general to replace him in the case.
— April 13: The attorney general appoints Tom Durden, another district attorney from the region, to take over the case.
— May 5: The video surfaces online and quickly goes viral, prompting a national outcry. Durden puts out a news release saying the case should be presented to a grand jury and asks the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to take over the case.
— May 7: Gregory and Travis McMichael are arrested.
— May 8: On what would have been Arbery’s 26th birthday, several hundred people gather outside the Glynn County courthouse to protest and sing “Happy Birthday” in his honor. The McMichaels have their initial court appearances.
— May 10: Georgia attorney general asks the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate the handling of the case.
— May 11: Georgia attorney general asks Cobb County District Attorney Joyette Holmes to take over the case, making her the third outside prosecutor appointed to the case. DOJ said it was assessing the case to determine whether federal hate crime charges are warranted and is considering Carr’s request to investigate how local police and prosecutors investigated the case.
— May 12: Georgia attorney general asks the GBI to investigate possible prosecutorial misconduct by Waycross DA George Barnhill and Brunswick DA Jackie Johnson.
— May 14: Defense attorneys announce that they’ve been hired to defend the McMichaels.
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