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Lead prosecutor in Ahmaud Arbery case resigns

Neither Jesse Evans nor the Cobb County District Attorney gave a reason for the departure of the Arbery case's lead prosecutor.
Credit: WXIA
Former Cobb County Deputy Chief District Attorney Jesse Evans

GLYNN COUNTY, Ga. — The lead prosecutor in the case against three men accused of murdering Ahmaud Arbery has left the Cobb County District Attorney's Office.

According to a statement from the office, Deputy Chief Assistant District Attorney Jesse Evans resigned. The statement did not provide a date or a reason.

Evans has handled the case against three Glynn County men accused of chasing and killing Arbery in their Satilla Shores neighborhood in February 2020. Evans was the face of the prosecution at prior bond hearings in the case against Travis McMichael, 35, his father, Gregory McMichael, 65, and William "Roddie" Bryan, 51.

Cobb County Assistant District Attorney Linda Dunikoski will step in as the lead prosecutor in the case, according to a statement from Cobb County DA Attorney Flynn D. Broady Jr.

“In response to several inquiries” Broady released this statement:

“Jesse Evans has been an invaluable member of the Cobb DA’s team for many years, and we wish him every success in his next chapter. Teams are greater than any single individual, and we will continue working as a team to seek justice in each and every case.

“As for the State of Georgia v. McMichael, McMichael and Bryan, Senior ADA Linda Dunikoski will step into the role of lead prosecutor. Linda has worked on the case since the Attorney General appointed the Cobb County District Attorney’s Office to act as District Attorney Pro Tempore. Linda joined our office in 2019, taking on the role as the head of the appellate unit, bringing more than 17 years of experience in prosecution with her. Linda was with the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office where she worked several high-profile cases, including homicides, complex RICO cases, gang cases, and crimes against women and children. I have complete confidence in her abilities.”

Cobb County is the fourth DA’s office to handle the case. Glynn County DA Jackie Johnson initially had the case, but recused herself because Greg McMichael had worked for her as a chief investigator.

The case then passed to Ware County prosecutor George E Barnhill who wrote a letter saying he believed the shooting was justified under self-defense and citizen’s arrest laws in Georgia. Barnhill, whose son also worked with Greg McMichaels, later recused himself from the case. Liberty County DA Tom Durden briefly had the case before the Georgia Attorney General assigned the case to Cobb County last May.