Cobb DA Joyette Holmes accepts role as prosecutor in the Arbery homicide

Joyette Holmes in article about Ahmaud Arbery indictmentJoyette Holmes (photo courtesy of the Cobb DA's Office)

Cobb District Attorney Joyette Holmes has accepted the appointment as prosecutor in the killing of Ahmaud Arbery on Feb. 23.

The GBI has charged Gregory McMichael and his son, Travis McMichael, with aggravated assault and murder.

Holmes served as chief magistrate of Cobb County before her appointment as Cobb’s District Attorney when current GBI Director Vic Reynolds left that position in February of 2019.

The Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council of Georgia issued the following statement on the appointment of Holmes to prosecute the Arbery case:

The Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council of Georgia has closely followed the Ahmaud Arbery case since becoming aware of the release of the video footage and the arrests of Gregory McMichael and Travis McMichael.

Our primary interest is that justice be served and that public confidence be maintained and restored in our criminal justice system. The credibility and integrity of state prosecutors and investigators is vital to ensuring a fair and impartial criminal justice system. We are at all times public servants who must be held to the highest ethical and professional standards.

We have confidence Cobb Judicial Circuit District Attorney Joyette Holmes and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation will provide critical transparency and accountability to ensure that justice is served in this case. District Attorney Holmes and her team will represent our state with honor and dignity. We at PAC are ready, willing, and able to assist them in the pursuit of justice. The Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council of Georgia pledges its support and resources to assist District Attorney Holmes in any manner as requested

The Cobb DA’s office issued the following public information release about the appointment:

May 11, 2020 ­– Cobb District Attorney Joyette M. Holmes announces that she has accepted Attorney General Chris Carr’s appointment of her office to handle prosecution in the killing of Ahmaud Arbery, and that the call to serve will not be taken lightly.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation has charged Gregory McMichael and his son, Travis McMichael, with aggravated assault and murder in Arbery’s death.

“Our office will immediately gather all materials related to the investigation thus far and continue to seek additional information to move this case forward,” DA Holmes said. “We appreciate the confidence that Attorney General Carr has in our office’s ability to bring to light the justice that this case deserves.”

Once DA Holmes and her team have received the investigative file from the GBI, all facts and circumstances of the Feb. 23, 2020, death of Ahmaud Arbery will be reviewed and all appropriate charges under Georgia law will be presented to a Glynn County Grand Jury for indictment.   

Georgia’s statewide Judicial Emergency will continue through June 12, according to Chief Justice Harold D. Melton, but DA Holmes assures that her team will work as expeditiously as possible to move the case forward.

The Cobb DA’s Office is also committed to ensuring that the family of Mr. Arbery is supported throughout the process of seeking justice in this case.

DA Holmes is not doing interviews at this time.

Joyette M. Holmes (photo attached) was sworn in as District Attorney of the Cobb Judicial Circuit on July 1, 2019. She has been both a prosecutor and a defense attorney in Cobb. Most recently, she served for four years as Chief Magistrate of Cobb County.

Holmes is a native of Valdosta, Ga. She graduated from Valdosta High School and the University of Georgia, where she earned dual bachelor’s degrees in psychology and criminal justice. She earned her law degree at the University of Baltimore School of Law in Maryland.

She and her husband live in west Cobb with their two daughters.

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