Claim of Confession Probed In Kendrick Johnson Death
CNN reports that a Lowndes County, Georgia, assistant district attorney has ordered a communications company to hand over internet records. Investigators received an anonymous email claiming an ex-schoolmate reportedly confessed to killing Kendrick Johnson.
Chief Assistant District Attorney Bradfield Shealy issued the subpoena to Mediacom Communications Corporation on January 28. They were ordered to provide the Lowndes County grand jury with subscriber information associated with the e-mail sent through the Lowndes County sheriff’s office’s website or submit the documents to the district attorney’s office or Lt. Jones before February 26.
Through a state Open Records Act, CNN now has the email and the subpoena from the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office.
The anonymous email is dated January 27th. The sender does not suggest that he or she witnessed the confession. Rather, the sender claims to have been given that information by someone who purportedly is aware of the confession by one person implicated in the email.
It appears that four persons are implicated in the anonymous email. The sheriff’s office provided CNN with an incident report that reveals that on January 28th, investigators interviewed two of the four students. Both acknowledged they knew the 17-year-old Johnson but denied any involvement in his death.
Lt. Stryde Jones, supervisor of the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office’s Investigative Division told CNN “Although our case has been closed, if evidence comes forward, specifically testimony, then we’re open to hearing that and certainly we’ll act accordingly.”
Lowndes County sheriff’s investigators concluded that Kendrick died after being stuck in a gym-mat while reaching for a shoe and that his death was accidental. The state’s medical examiner cited “positional asphyxia” as the cause of death.
Kendrick’s parents, Kenneth and Jacquelyn Johnson had his body exhumed and an independent autopsy conducted. The independent pathologist, hired by Johnson’s parents concluded that Kendrick died from the result of a homicide, after finding evidence of “unexplained apparent non-accidental blunt force trauma” to Kendrick’s neck.
Michael Moore, U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Georgia launched a federal probe in October 2013. The federal grand jury held a hearing in the probe last week, and students from Lowndes High School and Valdosta High School were among those who appeared.
One thing for sure is that if the email makes false claims, the individual who sent it will be in a heck of a lot of legal trouble. Among charges might be interference with a federal investigation. No one should play games with the big boys.