The Herald Banner, Greenville, TX

Community News Network

October 31, 2013

Feds to review case of teen found dead in wrestling mat

VALDOSTA, Ga. — Federal prosecutors will conduct a formal review of the death of Kendrick Johnson, a 17-year-old who was found dead earlier this year inside rolled-up wrestling mats at his high school.

Michael Moore, U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia, made the announcement Thursday, a day after a state judge granted Johnson’s parents access to files – including school surveillance video – in the investigation into their son’s death, which local authorities had ruled accidental.

Johnson was found dead at Lowndes High School on Jan. 11, suspended upside-down and wedged inside a rolled-up gym mat. State and local officials have called Johnson’s death an accident, suggesting Johnson got stuck in the mat while reaching for a lost sneaker and suffocated.

But his family never accepted that story and has staged public demonstrations calling for an investigation. Their cause has received national attention, including from the likes of Rev. Al Sharpton, who visited Valdosta to lend support.

The files released Wednesday include hundreds of documents and nearly 2,000 hours of surveillance video, some of which show Johnson entering the gym where he was later found dead, but do not show him entering the wrestling mat, CNN reported.

Moore said that he is going into the review with "an open mind," and if sufficient evidence exists, he will ask the Federal Bureau of Investigation to investigate.

“We are one step closer to getting to the truth,” said Benjamin Crump, attorney for the Johnson's parents.

The family’s attorneys said they hoped the school surveillance videos will lead to alternate theories about what happened to Kendrick Johnson the day he died. In June, the Johnsons successfully petitioned to exhume the teen's body and hired a pathologist to perform a second autopsy. That doctor concluded the boy's death was the result of "unexplained, apparent non-accidental, blunt-force trauma."

Details for ths story were reported by The Valdosta (Ga.) Daily Times and CNN.

1
Text Only
Community News Network
Featured Ads
Promotions
Poll

Does Dallas head coach Jason Garrett need for the Cowboys to make the playoffs during the 2014 football season to keep his job?

Yes
No
Who knows with Jerry Jones as owner?
     View Results
Facebook
Must Read
Photos


See more photos and purchase prints here.

AP Video
Renewed Violence Taking Toll on Gaza Residents 2 Americans Detained in North Korea Seek Help US Employers Add 209K Jobs, Rate 6.2 Pct House GOP Optimistic About New Border Bill Gaza Truce Unravels; Israel, Hamas Trade Blame Raw: Tunisia Closes Borders With Libya Four Rescued From Crashed Plane Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide