Thursday, October 10, 2013

Kendrick Johnson: Georgia; (USA); Family's push for a second autopsy into the death of this 17-year-old found dead in a high school gym leads to a finding that the death was not "accidental" - as the public inquest determined - and some horrifying revelations about how his body was treated before his burial. Federal prosecutors are weighing whether to conduct their own probe. CNN.

STORY: "Gym mat death shocker: Body stuffed with newspaper; Shocking discovery inside teen's body,  by reporters Victor Blackwell and Devon Sayers, published by CNN on October 10, 2013.

GIST: "The death of 17-year-old Kendrick Johnson was awful enough for his parents. Then came the doubts about investigators' conclusion that it was an accident. But the discovery that their son's body and skull had been stuffed with newspaper before burial added a horrific new dimension to their anguish and further fueled their skepticism of the official findings. "We have been let down again," his father, Kenneth Johnson, told CNN. "When we buried Kendrick, we thought we were burying Kendrick, not half of Kendrick." Kendrick Johnson was found dead in a gym at Lowndes County High School in January. State medical examiners concluded that the three-sport athlete suffocated after getting stuck in a rolled-up gym mat while reaching for a sneaker. Death was not accidental, family's autopsy finds His parents, Kenneth and Jacquelyn Johnson, never have bought that explanation. They won a court order to have their son's body exhumed and a second autopsy performed in June.........Anderson, who was hired by the Johnson family for a second autopsy, found Kendrick Johnson had sustained a blow to the right side of his neck that was "consistent with inflicted injury." Challenging the state autopsy's finding of positional asphyxiation, he concluded the teen died as the result of "unexplained, apparent non-accidental, blunt force trauma." And death scene imagery obtained exclusively by CNN has led a former FBI agent to question how Johnson died: "I think this young man met with foul play," said Harold Copus, now an Atlanta private investigator. Lowndes County Sheriff Chris Prine refused to discuss the matter with CNN, calling Johnson's death a closed case. The U.S. Justice Department announced in September that it wouldn't open a civil rights investigation into the case. But federal prosecutors in south Georgia have met with the family's representatives and are weighing whether to open their own probe, said Michael Moore, the U.S. attorney whose district includes Valdosta. "This is about getting to the facts and the truth, and we want the Johnson family and the community of Valdosta to have confidence in the process," Moore said. "I am cognizant of time, and we continue to move the process along.""

The entire story can be found at:

See also MSNBC report on family's plea for surveillance footage from the gym: "The family’s attorney, Chevene King, said they are now involved in legal wrangling to get authorities to release videotape from inside the gym where the teen was killed. “For some unknown reason, this tape has been withheld,” Mr. King told reporters and a few dozen supporters at the media conference today. “It’s devastating,” said Mrs. Johnson in an interview with theGrio afterwards. “It’s heartbreaking because there’s been no justice. They treated him like he was non-human.”"


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