Cobb County’s first black district attorney will serve as the new lead prosecutor in the case of Ahmaud Arbery’s killing.
On Monday, Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr announced that Atlantic Judicial Circuit District Attorney Tom Durden will step down and District Attorney Joyette Holmes will take over the case.
Carr’s appointment of Holmes, who has experience both as a lawyer and a judge, comes just days after the Georgia Bureau of Investigation announced the arrests of Gregory and Travis McMichael.
Investigators say the father and son were charged with aggravated assault and murder after a video surfaced that showed the men pursuing Arbery in a pickup truck and then shooting him with a shotgun.
Arbery’s family says the 25-year-old was jogging in a Brunswick neighborhood on Feb. 23 when he was shot and killed by the McMichaels.
Investigators say the McMichaels told them Arbery looked like a man who they believed was responsible for a rash of break-ins in their Satilla Shores neighborhood.
Gov. Brian Kemp and several other state leaders have praised the attorney general’s decision.
In a Facebook post Monday, Kemp shared that he’s confident that Holmes will lead a thorough prosecution and ensure that justice is served.
Criminal defense attorney and WABE legal analyst Page Pate says the job of a prosecutor is to review the work of the investigating officers.
“She will, along with her assistants, present the case to the grand jury and get an indictment or not,” said Pate.
Since February, the case has bounced around between Georgia law enforcement agencies. Holmes will be the fourth prosecutor assigned to the case.
In addition to appointing a new head prosecutor, on the state level, Carr requested an investigation into the conduct of the district attorneys of the Brunswick and Waycross judicial circuits as it relates to the case.
And on the federal level, Carr has asked the Department of Justice to conduct an investigation into the handling of the case.
On Tuesday’s edition of “Closer Look,” Pate discussed what he believes is next in the case.
“If there’s a federal prosecution and a state prosecution, then you could possibly see two trials in this case,” said Pate.
He also shared his personal thoughts on Carr’s decision to appoint Holmes.
Criminal defense attorney and WABE legal analyst Page Pate
To listen to the full conversation, please click the audio player above.