Pharos-Tribune

Z_CNHI News Service

September 4, 2013

Pathologist doubts teen's death was an accident

VALDOSTA, Ga. — A pathologist says a teenager died from "unexplained, apparent non-accidental, blunt force trauma," before his body was discovered in a high school gymnasium last winter, casting doubt on the official ruling that his bizarre death was an accident.

Kendrick Lamar Johnson, known was "KJ," was found dead Jan. 11 in an old gymnasium at Lowndes High School. The 17-year-old boy's body was suspended upside down, wedged inside a roll of gym mats.

An Georgia Bureau of Investigation autopsy found Johnson's death to be an accident - a conclusion supported by local officials. But on Tuesday, Dr. William R. Anderson of Ocala, Fla., confirmed he performed a second exam that raises "issues of concern."

Johnson's family and their supporters hired Anderson to review the case. In June, they won a court order to exhume Johnson's body for a second autopsy.

Though Anderson's report has not been made public - and Anderson would not reveal specifics - Lowndes County Coroner Bill Watson confirmed its finding about the teen's death.

Even so, Watson said he stands by the initial ruling that Johnson died from asphyxiation caused by being suspended upside down. The sheriff's office said it also stands by its initial investigation.

Officials say Johnson was alone in the gym and probably reached for a loose shoe when he fell, then became trapped in a rolled-up mat.

His family never accepted that story and has staged public demonstrations calling for a new investigation. They say a photo of the boy's body after it was found, showing his head and face swollen, is evidence he was murdered.

They've asked the U.S. Justice Department to intervene; CNN reported Tuesday that U.S. Attorney Michael J. Moore is reviewing the case.

The family's pleas have attracted widespread attention, including from the Rev. Al Sharpton, who visited Valdosta to support their cause.

Johnson's relatives who were protesting in downtown Valdosta on Tuesday declined to comment on the pathologist's report.

Details for this story were reported by the Valdosta Daily Times.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Z_CNHI News Service
  • Screen Shot 2014-04-22 at 4.42.47 PM.png VIDEO: Leopard attacks crowd in India

    A leopard caused panic in the city of Chandrapur when it sprung from the roof of a house and charged at rescue workers.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • The top 12 government programs ever

    Which federal programs and policies succeed in being cost-effective and targeting those who need them most? These two tests are obvious: After all, why would we spend taxpayers' money on a program that isn't worth what it costs or helps those who do not need help?

    April 22, 2014

  • In cuffs... 'Warlock' in West Virginia accused of sexual assault

    Police in West Virginia say a man claiming to be a “warlock” used promises of magical spells to lure children into committing sexual acts with him.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Basketball stars may linger on campus a while longer

    The NBA seems serious about raising its minimum age, which could signal the end of the one-and-done era in college basketball.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Cats outsmart the researchers

    I knew a lot had been written about dogs, and I assumed there must be at least a handful of studies on cats. But after weeks of scouring the scientific world for someone - anyone - who studied how cats think, all I was left with was this statement, laughed over the phone to me by one of the world's top animal cognition experts, a Hungarian scientist named Ádám Miklósi.

    April 22, 2014

  • McCain 1 House Republicans are more active on Twitter than Democrats

    Your representative in the House is almost certainly on Twitter. Your senator definitely is. But how are they using the social network? Are Democrats more active than Republicans, or vice versa? Who has the most followers on the Hill?

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Do your genes make you procrastinate?

    Procrastinators, in my experience, like nothing better than explaining away their procrastination: General busyness, fear of failure, and simple laziness are just a handful of the excuses and theories often tossed around. Now researchers from the University of Colorado Boulder have added another option to the list: genetics.

    April 21, 2014

  • Do White Castle prices tell us anything about the minimum wage?

    The paper looked at how many delicious steamed sliders the minimum wage has been able to purchase over time. The point is that as it notes, in 1981, the $3.35 minimum could buy a whole dozen. Today, at $7.25, it could purchase just 10.

    April 21, 2014

  • VIDEO: Moose charges snowmobile, flees after warning shot

    While snowmobiling in New England, Bob and Janis Powell of Maine were charged by a moose and caught the entire attack on camera.

    April 21, 2014

  • Can Hillary Clinton rock the cradle and the world?

    What's most interesting to contemplate is the effect becoming a grandmother will have on Hillary's ambition. It's one of life's unfairnesses that a woman's peak career years often coincide with her peak childbearing years.

    April 21, 2014

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

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

Should mushroom hunters be allowed to forage off-trail in Indiana state parks?

Yes
No
Undecided
     View Results
Featured Ads
AP Video
Bon Jovi Helps Open Low-income Housing in Philly Pipeline Opponents Protest on National Mall Hagel Gets Preview of New High-tech Projects S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart New Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees Named 'Piles' of Bodies in South Sudan Slaughter New Yorkers Celebrate Cherry Blossom Blooms SCOTUS Hears Tv-over-Internet Case Justice Dept. Broadening Criteria for Clemency Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers 'Miss Meadows' Takes Holmes Back to Her Roots Biden: Russia Must Stop Talking, Start Acting David Moyes Out As Manchester United Manager Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India Iowa College Finds Beauty in Bulldogs High Court to Hear Dispute of TV Over Internet Stowaway Teen Forces Review of Airport Security
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.