Important new development in Kendrick Johnson investigation

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Good morning:

I have important news to pass along in the Kendrick Johnson case.

M.L. Nestel of the Daily Mail Online reported late yesterday that Kendrick’s father, Kenneth Johnson told him about a fight between Kendrick and another student that may have resulted in bad feelings and a desire for revenge. Both boys were members of the varsity football team. The other boy was a senior, a bully, and much bigger than Kendrick, who was just a freshman. The fight took place on a school bus during a ride back to school following a loss to another school.

The older boy started the fight by insulting Kendrick. This led to an exchange of escalating insults about each other’s mothers in which Kendrick kept getting the last word with his comebacks. The older boy lost his temper and attacked Kendrick attempting to put him in a headlock. Kendrick got away and landed some punches, whupping him in front of his teammates.

The driver stopped the school bus and called the police. After conducting a cursory investigation at the scene, they released the older boy to his parents and gave Kendrick a ride home in a police vehicle. No charges were filed.

Although the older boy’s father is not employed by the sheriff’s office, he is a public official.

Lt. Stryde Jones of the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Department told MailOnline that Johnson did ride home in the front of the police cruiser with the team-assigned deputy.

He added that the police viewed it only as a ‘shoving match’ that didn’t require any further action from them but the school did suspend each student for five days.

Lt. Jones told MailOnline that the police are also aware of the family’s claims that Kendrick’s death was somehow linked to the humiliation of the older boy.

“We questioned every name that was presented to us,” Lt. Jones said, pointing to the four month-long investigation which included “many hours of police work, forensics and joint efforts by multiple agencies.”

Lt. Jones acknowledged that the department did make attempts to question the boy in the wake of Johnson’s death.

“We tried to interview them but he preferred through his parents not to make a statement,” he told MailOnline. “That’s when we verified attendance records and we checked the video. We determined that he was not involved in the incident.”

And he wasn’t spotted on video surveillance footage shot at the gym at the time when Kendrick was last seen.

“The video has been looked at and he was not around the gym. Every person that was identified to us we located and interviewed.”

According to Mr Johnson, the alleged bully’s father has ties to law enforcement.

Lt. Jones acknowledged the father of the boy in question is an official but not with the sheriff’s department. “He’s not connected to local law enforcement.” He wouldn’t confirm if the father was with the FBI and there’s been no suggestion he’s been involved in the case or the investigation.

The fight on the bus occurred in 2011 and it was captured on videotape.

The coach of the football team declined to be interviewed and referred all inquiries to the Superintendent of the Lowndes County Board of Education.

He ain’t talking either.

People have been known to seek revenge by proxy, so that they have an alibi for the time of death, and there certainly was sufficient time to plan and execute a murder.

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Fred

54 Responses to Important new development in Kendrick Johnson investigation

  1. maria says:

    i can’t wait until the truth come out

  2. Amanda Pitts says:

    The boy I think there talking about his father is a FBI Agent that’s why there’s a coverup!!!!!

  3. charles whitfield says:

    This information about Kendrick Johnson having beef with someone who’s father was a public figure has been circulating around Valdosta since his death(murder). I became aware of this information months ago and I don’t even live in the state of Georgia any more. I find it hard that police did not question this individual from the start. From what I understand a person under age can be questioned about a crime if their parents was present. If the father is also in law enforcement, shouldn’t he also want do all he can to help solve this crime and clear his son name?…I would! The Valdosta Police Department is notorious for solving crimes, but when it involve Law enforcement officers, they become buffered. This type of prior practice, is what make many people in Valdosta feel that there is a cover-up in the mist, but that has never been a motivation for the Police Department to do the right thing. This sort of practice has gone on in Valdosta for so long, that they don’t even bother to give you a logical explanation of what happened, Too many citizens have received server injuries from falling out of police cars and died at the hands of the VPD, and justice not served to those seeking it…..This shit has to stop!!!

  4. riisey007 says:

    I am beginning to believe this may not have been done by a kid or a kid alone. What if this is over a girl? I would love to know who the girl is and if she has brothers and the whereabouts of her father. I don’t believe that anything useful on video is still on it. We know that Kendrick was murdered, kids are too impulsive and are not that smart to try and roll a dead body up into a mat, they would have ran scared and Kendricks body would be where it fell. We are giving these young boys far too much credit. Someone tried to hide the body for an amount of time, maybe until school was out or something or perhaps he was killed outside of the gym then brought in to be purposely found by the students so that it would look like another student did it or a freak accident. I believe adults were involved.

    • Drew says:

      I agree. At least as part of the cover-up.

    • maria says:

      i believe it was done by teenagers and covered up by adults.The father of those two boys invited Kendrick to a 2nd round fight at his house but Kendrick turned down the offer. What parent does a stupid thing like that. In my opinion the father is just as guilty as his sons. it seems that the father and brother was mad about the fight.

  5. Xena says:

    • Drew says:

      Seems suspect. Why deny the request? Can’t the request be left open regardless of the federal investigation?

      • Xena says:

        @Drew. If I’m not mistaken, the inquest would be to determine whether Kendrick’s death was by homicide. The only way I can see that interfering with the federal investigation is if the inquest determined the cause of death is not homicide, which would then be to the coroner’s benefit and possibly persuade no further investigation. Just my thoughts. Leatherman should know.

        @Professor. Can you please help us out here?

        • crazy1946 says:

          Xena, While I am not the person you directed the question to, may I inject a thought about this matter? I would think that amongst the things to be examined by the FBI/DOJ will be the actions and findings of the coroner and his office. Would it not be prudent for that office to allow the investigators time to conclude their work? There is also the expense involved, does it make sense for the local government to expend the necessary financial resources to duplicate those of the federal government? Then we get to the question of accountability, would you really trust the coroners office to investigate them selves in an open and honest manner? Fox, hen house syndrome? I feel sure that if my logic is flawed the professor will enlighten me with his factual knowledge on the legal points of this investigation….

        • I suspect the coroner doesn’t want anything to do with this case because no matter the result (i.e., homicide or accidental death) he’s going to piss off a lot of people. I think he sees it as a career killer.

          Since the FBI will be taking over the investigation, he figures that gives him a good excuse to step out of the way and let them do their thing. After all, they are going to have to determine the answer to the same question for purposes of their investigation and whatever conclusion he might reach will not be binding on them.

          I think it makes sense for him to step aside under these circumstances.

  6. Xena says:

    Coroner ask judge to reject family's request for inquest in #KendrickJohnson case – wants to wait for results of DOJ review & investigation— Victor Blackwell CNN (@VictorCNN) November 5, 2013

  7. Drew says:

    This is interesting:

    http://www.coloradonewsday.com/national/26305-exclusive-best-friend-of-gym-mat-boy-was-sent-threat-that-he-too-could-end-up-in-body-bag-just-hours-after-teen-s-mysterious-death.html

    There’s a bunch of odd stuff in there.

    What sticks out mostly to me is the lie that he got stuck in there in the afternoon at some point but NO ONE saw his feet or heard any struggle. When we close down for the day at the school where I work, the Phys. Ed. Teacher, security personnel, or myself would certainly notice something like that, as we give everywhere a quick once over to make sure no students missed the bus, or are lingering around the school, hiding, etc.

    Then, there were games that same night! Caught on camera! I’m damn near positive if you look at the game footage you won’t see anyone’s feet sticking up out of the mats!

    He was killed on the afternoon of the 10th, either at school or somewhere nearby, possibly by innocently by “accident” or prank, possibly with malicious intent… But he was definitely killed somehow. Then the perpetrators and their parents or possibly a staff member or two spent all night thinking of some horseshit story they could come up with to make it look like he fell. Unfortunately for them, what they came up with was the brain-dead mat story. That’s all you got?? Really???

    In the morning they moved the body from wherever it was being hidden (probably somewhere on campus if a staff member is involved in the cover-up, more likely in someone’s car or something), and rolled it up into a mat so they could use the ridiculous mat-fall story, which, apparently was so ridiculous that no one questioned it. Who’d make up such a preposterous claim?

    • Xena says:

      @Drew.

      Then, there were games that same night! Caught on camera! I’m damn near positive if you look at the game footage you won’t see anyone’s feet sticking up out of the mats!

      WHAT?!?!? So people were in that gym the night of the afternoon Kendrick died?

      Now, that has me wondering. Blood and death have odors. The body expels after death. Would the mat diminish that? (Just thinking out loud via keyboard.)

  8. Drew says:

    Is all the weird suspicious stuff even remotely medically accurate?

    For example, why did his internal organs decompose after mere days, causing them to be discarded? Is that normal?

    Why did his face look like that after merely hanging upside down for a half a day? Is that what normally would happen to someone’s face after being in that position for 12-24 hours?

  9. Xena says:

    I don’t think that Kendrick was killed in the gym. He may have been forced out, beaten to a pulp elsewhere, accidentally murdered, and a story had to be put together leading them to carry his body to the gym.

    They couldn’t dump his body just anywhere because that would lead to a murder investigation.

    Investigators need to look elsewhere for signs of where the beating took place. Everyone in that gym should have their house, garage, and car luminoled.

    • Two sides to a story says:

      Indeed.

      • bettykath says:

        While I agree that Kendrick may have been killed elsewhere, I think investigators going to everyone’s house, garage, and car without a warrant is a violation of the 4th amendment. Otherwise known as a witch hunt. While it’s more likely that he was killed at or near the school, if he were killed elsewhere, his body must have been put in the mat when no one else was in the school.

        What was time of death? He was last seen in the afternoon. He wasn’t found until the next day. I hope the video tapes from when he was last in the gym until he was removed from the gym are all available. They could answer some of the questions about coverup at the scene.

        • Xena says:

          @bettykath.

          While I agree that Kendrick may have been killed elsewhere, I think investigators going to everyone’s house, garage, and car without a warrant is a violation of the 4th amendment.

          I didn’t suggest that they conduct investigation improperly.

        • You all have thoughtful comments says:

          They probably did not keep the gym surveillance cameras active as they investigated the crime scene.

          However, wouldn’t it be great is they had!?

          We would then have a video tape of their sloppy work.

        • Rachael says:

          who said anything about doingvit without a warrant?

        • bettykath says:

          Yes, you didn’t say without warrant, or with warrant. My comment was on the basis of not seeing a judge issuing warrants for a lot of houses, garages, cars just b/c the kids were in the gym. This led to my conclusion that the searches would be without warrants.

          • Xena says:

            @bettykath.

            My comment was on the basis of not seeing a judge issuing warrants for a lot of houses, garages, cars just b/c the kids were in the gym.

            I don’t see why not. Judges don’t generally deny requests for search warrants when there’s an open investigation.

    • crazy1946 says:

      Xena, Well if your theory is that Kendrick was killed else where and then brought back to the gym and placed into the mat, then we need first to find an entrance into the gym that is not under video surveillance…. Other wise the video would have had to be altered… one other possibility would be that some one on the security staff disabled one or more of the cameras for a short period allowing the body to be placed in the gym… any alteration on the original videos can be detected to have occurred, copies are more difficult to find changes in… Now as I have said before, the person that did the deed is well connected and not a member of a low level official, look at the power structure in the area, look at the age necessary to have a child in the school and then you will have a short list of suspects.. I have already suggested the party that I suspect is being protected, now it is someone else’s turn…

      • Xena says:

        @crazy1946.

        I have already suggested the party that I suspect is being protected, now it is someone else’s turn…

        You hound dog you. 🙂

        I pray that the videos have not been altered. Also, wonder if they are turned off when the school closes.

        • crazy1946 says:

          Xena, Would it not defeat one of the principal reasons to have the video system to have them turned off when the school was not open for students? Is not “security” the reason that they always give when they “sell” these intrusive devices to the general public? Well, security does not end when the last student walks out the door at the end of the day does it? However I do expect them to attempt to sell us the story that only the ones in the gym are turned off at night….

          • Xena says:

            @crazy1946.

            However I do expect them to attempt to sell us the story that only the ones in the gym are turned off at night….

            That would not surprise me. (sigh)

            My comment is in moderation (probably because of the link), but CNN has tweeted that the coroner has asked the judge to reject the request for an inquest, pending results of the DOJ review and investigation.

          • Drew says:

            I developed such a system for the library at my alma mater. It was not implemented at the time but to my understanding, in a motion triggered surveillance system, the cameras are always “active” to surveil the area but footage is not stored and dumped into a file unless the motion sensor is tripped.

            In other words, no footage will be saved and archived if it’s just a wall or empty hallway. Only when the camera detects activity will image/video files be captured and saved.

            I could be wrong about this surveillance system. Not all school surveillance systems are like this.

          • crazy1946 says:

            Drew, Questions, if a camera or a series of camera’s on the system were disabled temporarily, would the system log that event? Could tripping the power to parts of the system cause the system to not record activity in that sector? Could changing the sensitivity to the motion necessary to activate the recording portion of the system be done? Now, if any of this had/has occurred, how much knowledge of the system would be required to make such changes? Would it require a member of the IT dept. to make these type of changes? I am guessing, but would not the system be pass word protected to prevent access by non administrators of the system?

          • Drew says:

            I can’t be positive about their system, but the system that I developed and the one that we use here at my current employer have different levels of access depending on your position. Most staff members have no access at all. Other security and administrative staff have access to the cameras in terms of being able to log in to the interface and cycle through all the available live feeds. Others have read access to the actual saved video files. Probably only the building’s administrator has access to delete or do anything special to the saved video files, since he has full administrative privileges. To be honest I don’t know what that allows him to do but in terms of being able to make changes to camera settings, turn off cameras, or view any changes that have been made, he would be the only one.

            Which means that I doubt the cameras were tampered with beforehand in order to prepare ahead of time for the murder, but it’s possible as a cover up that the operations manager or principal ordered something to be done after the fact (OR were ordered by someone in the police department.)

    • gblock says:

      I don’t think that Kendrick could have been taken far from the gym, and probably not off the school campus. I do think that the killer or killers could have been waiting for Kendrick, and could have been in the gym before the time period shown in the video.

    • ladystclaire says:

      I agree Xena and, besides whose going to begin a search for a missing child in a gymnasium and also, in a rolled up mat none the less unless you have prior knowledge of him being put there.this stinks to high heaven and, nobody suffocates under any circumstances and, then end up with their face looking like that! as for his missing organs, those organs were missing for a reason and signs of Trauma would be the only reason why, they would come up missing from his first autopsy. his fingernails were cut to hide any skin or hair that may have been present to prevent the identity of foreign DNA under his nails. you know, there have been a lot of African-American young males, murdered in this country since Fogen walked free. even though this poor baby met his demise before then, he is still gone and, gone too soon at that. there is definitely open season against young black males in this country.

      Also, with all of this donning black face bs in this country, their way of saying we want to start a race war?

  10. aussie says:

    On the other hand, teens fight all the time, and it’s hard to see someone waiting 2 years for fatal revenge by proxy.

    Also in a small town 1/4 of the population would be somehow related to someone in some official position.

    A more recent motive involving a girl seems to me more likely, especially if the girl was white and the relationship was getting serious. That is also the kind of situation other people might get involved in “on principle” while I can’t see them getting anything personal out of revenge on behalf of someone for a 2-year-old incident.

    We’ll see. At least they’ve started actually investigating it.

    • Rachael says:

      I don’t know if it was a girl, I don’t know if it was a long-standing grudge. I DO know though that it was no accident.

    • gblock says:

      I agree that this seems a long time to take to settle an argument, unless there was a long-standing and continuing grudge. Are you sure that it was 2011 rather than 2012? If the fight happened in the fall of 2012 and the death was in January of 2013, that would have been maybe 2 or 3 months.

  11. ay2z says:

    As I read the article, did a copy/snippet–

    quote

    And he wasn’t spotted on video surveillance footage shot at the gym at the time when Kendrick was last seen.

    “The video has been looked at and he was not around the gym. Every person that was identified to us we located and interviewed.”

    Unquote

    The phone, the guy with the phone, the phone call ‘gesture’. What do these records show, or has that already been destroyed from the inside?

    By proxy, and the proxies ain’t talking.

    Thanks for the important update

  12. Drew says:

    Sigh. I just feel like all signs point to this ending badly, on the wrong side of justice. Again.

    • Two sides to a story says:

      At least it will be done in front of the world. The world will know the truth even if the system doesn’t work for the family.

  13. Lynn says:

    Being AT the scene of a crime is NOT a prerequisite for being involved in that crime.

    • Yes, you are correct. Mere presence at the scene of a crime is not a crime and there is no legal obligation to take action to prevent the crime.

      However, a person commits a crime, if they are present at the scene with intent to assist another person to commit the crime by being present and ready to assist.

      You are also correct to point out that a person does not have to be present at the scene of a crime in order to commit the crime. For example, a person can be convicted of the crime, if they aided and abetted another person to commit the crime, or if they conspired with another person to commit the crime.

      A conspiracy is an agreement between two or more people to commit a specific crime. The crime of conspiracy is completed when a member of the conspiracy commits an act, whether lawful or unlawful, in furtherance of the conspiracy. For example, renting a car or booking a flight to travel somewhere in furtherance of the conspiracy or a telephone call or text message to a co-conspirator to confirm a plan would constitute overt acts completing the crime of conspiracy even if the crime that was the objective of the conspiracy is never committed.

      Every member of a conspiracy is guilty of any crime committed by another member of the conspiracy, regardless if they knew that person was a member of the conspiracy or if they knew about the crime, so long as the crime was a reasonably foreseeable crime that would be committed, given the objective of the conspiracy.

      Accessory and conspiracy liability for committing crimes, even though not present when the crime is committed, are not new legal concepts.

      • Malisha says:

        I think Lynn also meant that a person can be guilty of colluding in a crime and still be ABSENT from the crime scene. Mafia dons do it all the time.

        • Yes, you’re right. I realized that right after I posted my answer, so I edited and just re-posted it. Refresh your page to read my mini-lecture on criminal responsibility for crimes committed by others.

  14. Drew says:

    What do you make of Leigh Touchton’s (and others’) comments that essentially amount to “look the other way, nothing to see here”?

    They’re basically calling the Johnsons and people like us here at this site consipracy theorists who won’t let go.

    Even something like this, rather than pursuing it as a lead, they’d call it coincidental, and say it leads nowhere, and that for there to be a cover-up, too many people would be involved, blah blah blah.

    • I think they are stupid, misinformed, and have no idea what they are talking about.

      • ladystclaire says:

        I agree with you on that because, they are Valdosta’s equal to, Roscoe P. Coltrane. I mean the mentality of the people that they allow to become police officers and sheriffs. smh

    • Malisha says:

      You don’t have to be a conspiracy theorist to posit that a kid rolled up in a gym mat, upside down, bleeding and dead, was killed by someone. You don’t have to be a conspiracy theorist to posit that such a killing of a live human being was a crime. You don’t have to be a conspiracy theorist to posit that foulplay should be suspected when a death occurs under these circumstances. You don’t have to be a conspiracy theorist to posit that an explanation as stupid as “He was trying to get his sneakers and he accidentally died trying” is untrue. And so all the way along the line, right up UNTIL you hear that the law enforcement authorities couldn’t come up with anything better than that idiotic non-explanation that insults any rational person’s intelligence, you don’t have to be a conspiracy theorists.

      It is, of course possible that there was NO conspiracy. It is possible that several people separately, and without consulting each other at all, did completely the wrong thing that violated common sense, law enforcement protocol, their own standards and general morality — but hey, anything’s possible.

  15. racerrodig says:

    UNO…..So the plot thickens !!

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