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Current Events & Hot Topics Current Events & Hot Topics

Update on the boy who died in the gym mat...

Posted by on Mar. 13, 2014 at 11:56 PM
  • 25 Replies
updated 3:13 PM EDT 03.13.14
Feds subpoena Kendrick Johnson's schoolmates
By Victor Blackwell and Devon M. Sayers, CNN
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Macon, Georgia (CNN) - Kendrick Johnson's former schoolmates and their parents have been subpoenaed by a federal grand jury investigating the Georgia teen's 2013 death, according to sources with knowledge of the subpoenas.

Among those seen entering the federal courthouse in Macon on Thursday were current students at Lowndes High School and current and former students at Valdosta High School, also located in Lowndes County.

Thursday's development comes four months after the feds launched an investigation. Johnson's parents have said the original probe was mishandled by local authorities. The FBI has interviewed several of Johnson's former schoolmates, according to a source with knowledge of the investigation.

Outside the federal courthouse Thursday, U.S. Attorney Michael Moore said, "We're working methodically, and sometimes we remember we're running a marathon instead of a sprint. So, we're working on it. It's better to get it right than to get it fast. I'm satisfied that the FBI is moving forward at the appropriate speed, and they're doing a fine job."

Johnson's body was found in a rolled-up mat in the Lowndes High School gymnasium on January 11, 2013. Investigators with the Lowndes County Sheriff's Office ruled his death accidental, concluding that Johnson climbed into the center of the gym mat to reach for a shoe and got stuck.

State officials later concurred that Johnson's death was accidental and listed his cause of death as "positional asphyxia," or suffocation by his own body weight.

Johnson's parents have called the official story a "coverup" and said they believe their son's death was a homicide. A separate autopsy commissioned by the family attributed the 17-year-old's death to "apparent non-accidental, blunt force trauma."

The complete list of those subpoenaed for Thursday's grand jury proceeding was not clear, but Lowndes County Sheriff Chris Prine said he had not received a federal subpoena, and Lowndes County Schools said it was subpoenaed only to provide hard drives containing surveillance video from the school.

County Coroner Bill Watson said he hasn't received a subpoena, either, though the FBI has interviewed him twice and he has spoken to the U.S. attorney. Johnson's parents say they, too, spoke with the FBI during a three-hour interview in Thomasville, 40 miles west of Valdosta, in December.

Asked during a January interview if he found the feds' involvement encouraging, Johnson's father, Kenneth Johnson, said, "We really won't feel anything until justice comes for Kendrick. We're glad they're here, but my feelings won't be there until we get justice for our son."

His wife, Jacquelyn Johnson, said the FBI interview left her hopeful.

"They answered a lot of questions about a lot of what we had heard," she said. "I felt better because it's another set of eyes looking into the case."

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by on Mar. 13, 2014 at 11:56 PM
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Replies (1-10):
VinVanMom
by Bronze Member on Mar. 13, 2014 at 11:59 PM
2 moms liked this

I don't know what to think. Those mats are so heavy it takes a full wrestling team to move them on wheels. Ijdk

Healthystart30
by Silver Member on Mar. 14, 2014 at 12:00 AM
4 moms liked this
Good! Hopefully justice will be served!
VinVanMom
by Bronze Member on Mar. 14, 2014 at 12:22 AM

Would be nice if they could give lie detectors to everyone there. 

turtle68
by Mahinaarangi on Mar. 14, 2014 at 12:34 AM
3 moms liked this

I hope he gets justice, this was one weird case.  I have to wonder why the courts would subpoena school friends what popped up in the interviews that they needed to ensure they were in court...hmmmm

Aamy
by Silver Member on Mar. 14, 2014 at 12:38 AM
2 moms liked this
Good. The people who did that investigation really screwed it up.
AdrianneHill
by Platinum Member on Mar. 14, 2014 at 12:50 AM
3 moms liked this
I hope the truth comes out. It was probably an accident or people being reckless and stupid and he was killed. Someone important must have been there (or their kid) so the police decided to call it a tragic accident involving only the victim. That way, everyone could go on to college and the living could keep doing so uninterrupted
CrossStitchMum
by Member on Mar. 14, 2014 at 1:00 AM
I think they should be mandatory before you go to court

Quoting VinVanMom:

Would be nice if they could give lie detectors to everyone there. 

PinkButterfly66
by Silver Member on Mar. 14, 2014 at 1:18 AM
1 mom liked this

The original coroner should be fired at the very least.

pixie92
by Platinum Member on Mar. 14, 2014 at 5:59 AM
1 mom liked this

Hopefully they will get to the truth and give his family some peace.

sweet-a-kins
by Emerald Member on Mar. 14, 2014 at 6:31 AM
1 mom liked this
I want to know why the school edited the video handed over to the police and who did that
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