Joyette Holmes to Lead Prosecution in Arbery Murder

First black Cobb D-A "Minister of Justice"

May 11, 2020
Cobb County District Attorney Joyette Holmes has been appointed to handle the prosecution in the Ahmaud Arbery Murder case.

(Photo Credit: Cobb County District Attorney's Office)

Driving nonstop you can get to Brunswick, Georgia from Valdosta, Georgia in a little over 2 hours. There are about 122 miles between the two South Georgia towns. According to data from the U.S. Census, in 2018 Brunswick had a population of 16,357 while Valdosta had 56,426 residents.

Joyette Holmes, Cobb County’s first black district attorney, grew up in Valdosta. She’s been named to handle the prosecution of what will undoubtedly be the biggest case of her career, the murder of Ahmaud Arbery. 

The 25 year old black man was shot and killed by two white men in a Brunswick neighborhood on February 23. The men remained free until Friday, following the release of a video that showed how Arbery died.

Chris Carr, Georgia’s Attorney General, appointed Holmes to the case. Carr has said that he was “stunned and shocked” when he saw the video of Arbery’s murder, and wants to get to the bottom of what happened.

Cobb County District Attorney Joyette Holmes has been appointed to handle the prosecution in the Ahmaud Arbery Murder case.
(Photo Credit: Maria Boynton/RADIO.COM)

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

Gregory McMichael and his son Travis were arrested and charged with murder and aggravated assault. The GBI indicates that the person filming the confrontation is also under investigation.

Holmes was sworn in as DA of the Cobb Judicial Circuit on July 1, 2019. With experience as both a prosecutor and a defense attorney in Cobb, Holmes most recently served 4 years as Chief Magistrate of the county.

Holmes is a graduate of the University of Georgia, where she earned dual bachelor’s degrees in psychology and criminal justice. The University of Baltimore School of Law in Maryland is where she earned her law degree.

When I interviewed Holmes following her historic appointment as Cobb County’s first black District Attorney, she said it was “an honor to serve” and considered herself and others in the legal community to be “ministers of justice.”