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Published On: Mon, Jan 8th, 2018

Kendrick Johnson death: Judge blocks family’s petition to exhume their son’s body

Five years after his death, Kendrick Johnson’s parents want his body exhumed a second time, a move blocked by a judge for at least 30 days.

The city of Valdosta, which owns the cemetery where Johnson is buried.

Kendrick Johnson facebook photo

Their request is on hold after a judge granted a 30-day restraining order — effective until Jan. 27 — filed by the city of Valdosta, which owns the cemetery where Johnson is buried.

“(The attorney) also unilaterally stated they would exhume (KJ’s) body at some unspecified time on or before Friday, Dec. 29, 2017, the last business day before New Year’s Day,” according to superior court documents. The self-imposed deadline was never met and the body has not yet been exhumed, Tanner said.

The Valdosta Daily Times summarized that “A request by the city for a temporary restraining order, dated Dec. 27, 2017, says the city of Valdosta does not object to the exhumation, but wants to be told in writing what will be done with the body; who will perform the tests and at what time and location; that cemetery officials and the funeral home director arrange the disinterment to take place not more than 30 days after the restraining order is issued; that representatives of lawsuit defendants be allowed to see, review and record all testing on the body; that the body be reburied within 24 hours of disinterment; and that the plaintiffs obey all laws and regulations about disinterment and reburial.”

The teen’s body was first exhumed in June 2013 by court order because the family wanted their own autopsy separate from the state’s.

In this case, William R. Anderson, an Ocala, Fla.-based pathologist hired by the Johnsons, said blunt-force trauma was evident.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s official autopsy claimed that Johnson died from accidental positional asphyxia with no sign of blunt force trauma.

Over the five years since Johnson’s death, the Johnson’s parents Kenneth and Jackie Johnson, never accepted the official finding, has launched various lawsuits in state and federal courts. A lawsuit filed in Lowndes County Superior Court against dozens of defendants for $100 million was dropped in March 2016.

A federal investigation found no conclusive evidence of foul play. A federal lawsuit was dropped when an attorney representing Johnson’s parents failed to meet filing deadlines.

The Johnsons allege their son was murdered by Brian and Branden Bell, sons of a local FBI agent, and the crime was covered up with the help of Lowndes County’s school superintendent and a former sheriff.

In August, the Johnsons were ordered to pay nearly $300,000 in attorneys’ fees and expenses associated with the lawsuits they filed. “Their testimony shows they had no evidence to support their claims that the Bells killed Johnson or that any of the other defendants engaged in a conspiracy to conceal the cause of manner of Johnson’s death, ” Judge Porter wrote at the time.

FBI video analysis determined the Bell brothers were nowhere near the old gymnasium when Johnson was last seen entering the facility.

This chaos has clouded the search for truth and answers.

Kendrick Johnson

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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