Search Warrants Executed – The Death Of Kendrick Johnson

Kendrick Johnson 3On January 10, 2013, the body of 17-year old Kendrick Johnson was discovered in a rolled-up gym mat in the gym of the high school he attended. The Lowndes County Georgia Sheriff’s Office conducted the initial investigation and concluded that Kendrick died from a freak accident. They said he was going for a shoe that was at the bottom of the mat, got stuck, and died from asphyxiation.

Kendrick’s body was subsequently exhumed and the family had an independent autopsy performed that among other things, found that all of Kendrick’s internal organs were missing, and had been replaced with newspaper. The private pathologist concluded the teen died of blunt force trauma to the neck.

Videos from inside the school were released, and caused many questions, many of which pertained to missing portions or what appeared to be edits.

In October 2013, the Department of Justice began an investigation under the direction of U.S. Attorney Michael Moore.

Lawsuits have been filed – so many it is difficult to keep up. Two boys, whose father is an FBI agent, were accused of being implicated in or causing Kendrick’s death. The parents of Brian and Brandon Bell sued a publishing company that reported on the story that implicated the involvement of Kendrick’s school-mates. Kendrick’s parents have filed a $100 million wrongful death lawsuit, alleging that Brian and Brandon Bell violently assaulted Kendrick, leading to his death.

This past Tuesday, U.S. Marshalls executed warrants on the Bell family and Taylor Eakin, girlfriend of Brian Bell. CBS news reports that Paul Threlkeld, an attorney representing the Bell family and Taylor Eakin, stated

“Yesterday [Tuesday] at 3:30 am, the Bell family was awakened at their home by government agents, executing search warrants in a federal Grand Jury investigation about the death of Kendrick Johnson which is almost 2 years old – a case in which no one has been indicted and in which there is no evidence to implicate involvement of the Bells or any member of the Bell family. The case is built solely on suspicion, innuendo and rumor, not evidence.”

Threlkeld added that the agents seized computers, cell phones and other property.

48 Hours’ Crimesider reports that they learned that this week, the U.S. Attorney’s Office sought access to Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office e-mails regarding the Kendrick Johnson investigation.

11alive reports that attorney Brice Ladson, who represents the Bells, informed them that  government agents searched and seized property from the Jacksonville home of FBI agent Rick Bell, father of  Brian and Brandon.   Ladson appears to be more concerned with communications that he has had with the Bells that might appear on their computers and cell phones, which he says is attorney-client privileged information.

To date, there has been only one arrest in the investigation of Kendrick’s death. In May 2015, Dalton Chauncey admitted to giving false information to the police. Chauncey told the police of a person he said overheard a conversation where two people admitted to being responsible for Kendrick’s death.   Chauncey was scheduled to be sentenced on June 18, 2015, but no updates on his sentencing have been reported.

A spokesperson for U.S. Attorney Michael Moore declined to comment except to say the investigation is ongoing.

There has been some criticism from those supporting the Bell brothers that the investigation has taken too long. That is not unusual for the Department of Justice.  For example, a 5-year investigation was conducted into the actions of Logan J. Smith and Victoria A. Cheek-Herrera.

The following video, published in November 2014, states that the Bells refused to cooperate with federal investigators.  That might be the reason why investigators sought and were issued the search warrants.

 

 

Posted on 07/24/2015, in Cases, Kendrick Johnson and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 27 Comments.

  1. I have a feeling the suspects will get away with murder.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. yahtzeebutterfly

    It will be interesting to see where all of this leads.

    I ache and pray for Kendrick’s parents as they continue to seek justice for Kendrick.

    Here is a photo of Kendrick with his parents that I had not seen before:

    Liked by 5 people

  3. crustyolemothman

    Justice in this nation could easily be compared to the mythical creature called a uni-corn! Many people talk about each one, yet neither seems to ever be actually seen!

    Liked by 3 people

  4. The conclusion that he’d stumbled into the rolled up map was one that no senses supported.

    I’m glad to hear this is being investigated further, but so sad that individuals and officials continue to find ways to escape consequences ongoing. There can be no justice without accountability.

    And more than that, of course, I am heartbroken for Kendrick, and everything he’ll never get to experience in this world.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. It is about time. This has gone on long enough. Justice for KJ!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. After Trayvon I’ve tried so hard not to become emotionally involved with these murders, but like Trayvon, Kendrick is close to my heart. I’m thankful something is finally being done.

    Liked by 5 people

  7. scrodriguez

    This is really good news 🙂 im glad the investigation is still underway, it speaks volumes when an FBI agents home is raided on a warrant for Obstruction.
    Speaking of which, They obviously had enough probable cause for Obstruction of Justice other wise the warrant would not have been issued. and this is Obstruction of Justice involving a MURDER investigation.
    Here is the way I see it to sum it up in a nutshell IF and only IF Kendrick Johnsons death was a tragic accident, why didn’t the bells co operate and speak to investigators? I mean it was an accident right? and an accident would mean you have nothing to worry about apparently that isn’t the case here.
    I still like to know how KJs Autopsy photos were leaked when they clearly were not made available per the court…. perhaps we will see some light shed on that as well here.

    Liked by 4 people

    • I’m sure the investigation will reveal who and how the autopsy photos were released. I sure wouldn’t want to be that person……

      Liked by 1 person

      • Mindyme,
        According to the blogger that obtained the autopsy photos (that the court only ordered to be provided to Kendrick’s family and CNN), she has been calling Attorney’s Moore’s office on a weekly basis asking why he hasn’t closed the investigation. She also communicates with the Bell’s so there’s a good chance she has been on the radar, and the electronic devices seized will provide further proof.

        Like

  8. Two sides to a story

    I understand the wheels of justice turning slowly, but seems seizing all these things for possible evidence might have worked better if done sooner. Hopefully, there’s still some evidence in some of this stuff that will shed some light on this tragic death.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Two Sides. This was the right time, and I say that because there have been communications and evidence of harassment to U.S. Attorney Moore’s office urging him to close his investigation. Those doing so have reputations that would not stand the test of good faith, and one such person who has been contacting the U.S. Attorney’s office is implicated in obtaining documents under shady circumstances. That same person takes time on Twitter supporting the Bells, advocating for their innocence, and attacking Kendrick’s parents and attorney Benjamin Crump relentlessly.

      The feds seldom investigate anyone when there is only one possible infraction. What they do is give people enough rope and when they think the time is right, they file charges of numerous counts.

      Liked by 3 people

      • This case is so sad. I catch myself needing to back away from the news a bit because it gets me down. I really hope something finally comes of this new uptick in the investigation.

        Liked by 3 people

      • crustyolemothman

        Xena, While I don’t hold as much hope about this as you do, I will keep my fingers crossed that the political process does not continue to block this investigation.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Mothman,
          Faith, hope and love. We don’t always get what we want, and we don’t always get it when we want it, but if we remove what is positive, then we only leave the negative. It could be that no one is ever charged with the death of Kendrick, but then, Al Capone did not go to prison for murder either.

          Liked by 2 people

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