Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr denied Willis’ request, saying he believed her office could carry out a fair prosecution of the officers. Willis asked him to reconsider but Carr held firm, telling her the “matters are personal to your predecessor” and “do not pertain to your office.”.
Now it’s up to Fulton County Superior Court Chief Judge Christopher Brasher to decide this jurisdictional squabble, now in its fourth month. In an order signed earlier this month, Brasher ordered Willis to produce, in private, evidence of a conflict of interest. He’ll then rule whether her office should be disqualified.
But that won’t solve everything. Willis could decide to reduce the charges or drop them altogether. She has said previously that Howard’s rush to bring charges will ultimately benefit the defense.
Those options would also be available to a new prosecutor, if one is assigned.
“With no prosecutor to handle the case, it might never be resolved,” Rolfe’s attorney, Noah Pines, wrote in a motion to dismiss.
Pines also argued that the turf war between Willis and Carr is unfair to his client because of the “restrictive conditions” of his bond. Rolfe must wear an ankle monitor and abide by a court-imposed curfew.
The delays have also taken a toll on Brooks’ family, said one their attorneys, Justin Miller.
“You think these police are getting prosecuted and it doesn’t start,” he said. “They’re in jail and they’re out of jail. What the family needs, and wants, is a road to closure.”
THE STORY SO FAR
Last June, former APD officer Garrett Rolfe was charged with felony murder and several counts of aggravated assault and violating his oath for his role in the death of Rayshard Brooks, 27. Officer Devin Brosnan was charged with aggravated assault and violating his oath. Rolfe was freed on $500,000 bond.
Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr has rejected Fulton County DA Fani Willis’ request to recuse her office. She cites a conflict of interest created by her predecessor, Paul Howard, in handling the investigation. A judge has given Willis until May 3 to present, in private, evidence that proves the conflict is real.