Cobb County’s first female and African American district attorney, Joyette Holmes, has been appointed to prosecute the suspects charged in the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery, a racially charged case that has caught national attention.
Holmes, a former chief magistrate court judge and a former defense attorney becomes the third prosecutor assigned to the Arbery case. According to her, the “call to serve will not be taken lightly.”
“Our office will immediately gather all materials related to the investigation thus far and continue to seek additional information to move this case forward,” she said.
When Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr announced he was appointing her, he said: “District Attorney Holmes is a respected attorney with experience, both as a lawyer and a judge and the Cobb County District Attorney’s office has the resources, personnel and experience to lead this prosecution and ensure justice is done.”
Arbery, 25, was shot and killed on February 23 by Gregory McMichael and son Travis while jogging. The older McMichael told officers that they had chased Arbery after he thought Arbery looked like a suspect who had been connected to a number of burglaries in the Brunswick area.
When the father and son caught up with Arbery, the deceased struggled with Travis over the shotgun the younger McMichael was holding. Two shots were fired at Arbery during the scuffle before he fell down on the road.
The GBI has charged Gregory McMichael and his son, Travis McMichael, with aggravated assault and murder.
While Arbery’s parents applauded the appointment of Holmes, they say “it is imperative that the special prosecutor has no affiliation with the Southeast Georgia legal or law enforcement communities.”
“We implore District Attorney Joyette Holmes to be zealous in her search for justice, as she works to hold all of those responsible for the unjustifiable execution of an unarmed young black man in broad daylight,” one of three attorneys representing the family, Benjamin Crump said.
Holmes is a native of Valdosta, Ga. She graduated from Valdosta High School and the University of Georgia, where she earned bachelor’s degrees in psychology and criminal justice. She also earned her law degree at the University of Baltimore School of Law in Maryland.