2nd Investigation Rules Teen Kendrick Johnson’s Death Was a Freak Accident

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For the second time since 17-year-old Georgia high school student Kendrick Johnson died in 2013, a local law enforcement review has concluded the basketball player’s death was accidental.

Lowndes County Sheriff Ashley Paulk reopened the case last year after the teenager’s parents helped him obtain 17 boxes of evidence from the U.S. Department of Justice’s case file on the boy’s death. 

Classmates at Lowndes High School in Valdosta, Georgia, found Johnson’s body on Jan.11, inside a tightly rolled gym mat. Investigators said Johnson died in a freak accident, becoming stuck upside down and unable to breathe after he fell trying to retrieve a shoe that was inside the upright mat.

Johnson’s parents believed from the beginning that their son was murdered. 

Jaqueline Johnson, Mom, said Wednesday that she would like federal investigators to have a second look at the events surrounding her son.

“You didn’t find nothing in 17 boxes? That’s the craziest lie you could have told. We already knew what team you were on. You are not on the team of righteousness,”The mother told the story WSB-TV.

Sheriff Paulk claimed that he didn’t find any evidence of foul play while reviewing the documents and that there was no evidence that anything in this case had been covered up. “The truth is the truth,”Paulk explained to the station.

A 16-page summary of his investigation was published by the sheriff. In it, Paulk wrote that his review did “not produce anything to prove any criminal act by anyone that would have resulted in the death of Kendrick Johnson.”

The case was reviewed by the Justice Department in 2016. In 2016, the Justice Department examined the case. “found insufficient evidence to support federal criminal charges.”