Jesse Evans, a high-ranking attorney at the Cobb County District Attorney’s office and the lead prosecutor on the Ahmaud Arbery case, has resigned.
Senior Assistant District Attorney Linda Dunikoski will replace Evans as the lead prosecutor on the case, according to a news release from the office. The release did not state the reason for Evans’ resignation, and Evans did not return a call seeking comment by press time.
“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,” District Attorney Flynn Broady said in a prepared statement. “Teams are greater than any single individual, and we will continue working as a team to seek justice in each and every case.”
Arbery, 25, was fatally shot on Feb. 23, 2020, by two men while out for a run in a residential neighborhood near his home in Brunswick.
His death caused public outrage after a video of the incident surfaced and was often cited at last summer’s Black Lives Matter protests in Cobb and elsewhere.
The case was referred to the Cobb District Attorney’s office in May 2020 after local prosecutors were forced to recuse themselves due to close ties with the accused shooters.
The Cobb District Attorney’s office was handed the case by Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr in May 2020. Broady unseated then-DA Joyette Holmes in the November election. In a post-election interview, Broady said the Arbery case would remain Evans’ to lead. In March, Broady said it would likely go to trial before the end of the year.
Evans has handled a number of high-profile cases for the office, including the 2016 prosecution of Justin Ross Harris, who was sentenced to life in prison for leaving his 22-month-old son inside his hot car for hours while at work.
Evans’ replacement as lead prosecutor on the Arbery case is also a well-regarded, highly-experienced attorney.
“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,” Broady said in his prepared statement Monday. “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.”