WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES.
NewsOne is reporting the parents of Kendrick Johnson, a teenager whose dead body was found rolled up in a gym mat at his Lowndes High School on January 11, 2013, have been ordered by Judge Richard Porter to pay the attorney fees of city and county officials named in a dropped lawsuit that had claimed dozens of defendants were complicit in the teen’s 2013 death. The defendants included Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office, Lowndes County Schools, the City of Valdosta, the Bell family, and Owens Transport, but it was dropped in early March of 2016. The Johnsons allege that classmates Branden and Brian Bell killed Johnson, and then conspired with their father Richard Bell, an FBI agent, and other authorities to cover up the murder. Judge Porter has not set the amount that the Johnsons must repay but they are now facing a $900,000 bill.
After a three year probe, in June 2016, the Department of Justice announced there would be no charges filed in the death of Kendrick Johnson, citing insufficient evidence.
In an interview with journalist Roland Martin, Kendrick’s mother Jackie Johnson said:
“It’s another slap in the face…
“It’s like we’re having to pay for my son being murdered.”
Mrs. Johnson told Martin despite being unsure of the financial ramifications, “We’re not going to be distracted by what they’re trying to do.”
“We will not let them silence us about our son’s murder…There is nothing they can do to stop us from pursuing this case. We’re going to take this case all the way through, no matter how many distractions they throw at us, or whatever they try to throw at us.
“We’re going to keep pushing, we’re going to find out what happened to Kendrick Johnson – who killed him.”
The Johnson’s have filed a new wrongful death lawsuit in federal court.
Read more at NewsOne.
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